Set up texting hotline to engage troubled youth

As a teenager myself, I can attest to the difficulties and struggles teenagers these days face, and am saddened to read that teenage suicide rates have increased ("Teen suicides 'highest in 15 years but overall rate falls'"; July 26).

Given the technology available today, one way to prevent these avertable deaths is to have a text-messaging hotline.

Teenagers are often on their mobile phones. By taking advantage of WhatsApp and other messaging applications, help agencies can make it easier for teens to communicate with someone when they are in distress.

Teenagers who have social anxieties and struggle with talking to a person on a hotline, as well as those with hearing disabilities, will also benefit.

The convenience and privacy of texting are things that youth will appreciate. This mode of communication will be an effective means of engaging this vulnerable group.

Jacelyn Chia Yee Fang (Miss)