FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — How’s your mental health?
Maybe you dealt with the isolation and uncertainty from COVID-19 but now you might be shaken by the death of George Floyd.
RemedyLIVE says the time to talk – or text – is now.
“This last two months, three months, we’ve just seen a brand new trend of loneliness,” says Clinton Faupel, Executive Director of RemedyLIVE.
“Our mantra around here, and it’s kind of funny as a text-to-chat organization, is ‘Have you talked to somebody? Have you spoken words to somebody about what you’re feeling up here?'” says Faupel, pointing to his head.
Faupel began RemedyFM as an early streaming radio station in 2007. One event changed the group’s mission.
“I remember being on the air with a young man saying that he had taken some pills and he was dying,” Faupel begins.
“We were all freaked out. We called 911. We had a mailing address because he’d won something on the air a few weeks earlier and they found him dying. He was in Parkview Behavioral for a few days with that situation. He and his mom came down to Remedy (later) and everything changed for us that day.”
RemedyLIVE went to work to connect with isolated teens through texting. Better mental health starts with a simple text to 494949. The live person on the other end, known as a Soul Medic, is not a counselor but is trained and certified in QPR, a popular suicide prevention technique.
Faupel says the initial text often leads to resources – counseling, therapy and even food.
“There’s no magic button on our website that fixes it,” he says, “but we’ve learned that when you speak to somebody – even through a text message for the first time – you might feel like you’re not alone. We talk to thousands and thousands of people every year that are facing the same things but by sharing and knowing that there’s someone in your corner, you can feel better about the next day.”
RemedyLIVE doesn’t wait for texts to come in. They also present before schools, churches, businesses and any other group – both in-person or online. Their anonymous polling allows people to start to talk about mental health, especially during a pandemic.
“We ask: how has the coronavirus affected you? 70 to 80% say it’s severely affected them. Nobody’s saying that it hasn’t affected them.”
The demand is great and so are the costs.
“You know technology ain’t cheap. And we want to be innovative. We don’t want to be stifled by the opportunity to create things that can help students and adults. We’re just trying to create things with our budget that can engage people in that meaningful conversation.”
For the past four weeks, 3Rivers Federal Credit union has pledged $1,000 to local nonprofit groups featured on WANE 15. 3Rivers will then match viewer donations up to $5,000 total