How to Use SMS for Mental Health Communication in Schools

08/17/2020 2 min read Written by Corie Stark

We know it, and you know it: School is demanding, and not just for the students. Teachers, parents, and more all face a varying degree of pressure during the school year. If you add in the current uncertainty of schooling due to COVID-19, that stress skyrockets.

Luckily, schools and universities can tap into the power of SMS marketing to promote a healthier environment for their entire network’s mental health. SMS is cost-effective, instant, and packs a punch in terms of response rates. All you need to get started is some excellent campaign ideas and a reliable platform.

Keep reading for ideas on mental health communication utilizing SMS marketing.

Helpline Numbers

SMS platforms provide you with dedicated phone numbers, either in the form of a traditional number or a shortcode. Having a number like this opens up the doors of communication. In fact, everyone in your school can be set up to message it and have their voices heard. They simply text in their problem to receive immediate advice or guidance on their issue. Then, you can engage in 1:1 messaging for more engagement. You can allow them to remain anonymous to encourage more user participation. If they do provide their name, you should use it for a more personalized touch.

Check-In Messages

Not everyone in your school will actively reach out for help when they feel overwhelmed. If you run into this problem, you can try proactively to reach out. After you’ve received written consent to communicate via text with your student, teacher, parent, or whomever, send them messages to see how they’re doing or feeling. If they respond, you can engage in a two-way conversation. If they don’t, wait a few days or weeks to send a similar follow-up text.

Daily Quotes or Tips

Do you have a favorite saying or proverb that puts you in a positive mood? If so, try texting it to your school community. Starting the day off, whether in person or remote, with a strong, uplifting message may help someone. If you don’t have a quote you want to send, you can try a tip proven to impact mental health (i.e., eating a healthy lunch or getting in a walk). Whatever the content is, a regular cadence could have a lasting impact. However, if you find people unsubscribing or not responding, be sure to switch gears.

Reminders About Services

Some students who need someone to talk to may not be aware that there’s free counseling on school grounds or via video chat. With SMS, you can quickly push out reminders or notifications about on-campus mental health offerings. Be sure to give out location information, including times and dates — but don’t give any personal information about a student’s health. For some schools or universities, you may have different services for teachers or staff related to their company benefits. Keep them in the loop as well!

SMS Marketing on Campus

If you’re ready to connect with your school network and encourage better mental health through SMS communication, choose an SMS marketing platform that integrates seamlessly with your CRM or CMS for a more fluid experience for all users.

By: Corie Stark

After spending many years as a sports journalist, Corie switched to marketing in 2013. Her love of writing, talking to people, and keeping up with the industry enables her to use her skills for anything from social media to long-form blogging. Outside of work, she enjoys hiking with her dogs and making her cats chase the ever elusive red dot.

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