We conducted research to find out how young people experienced a phone text counselling service offered by Youthline.
We found that this offered an opportunity to engage young people via a familiar and accessible medium. Interviews conducted with young people highlighted aspects of text counselling they perceived as valuable including privacy and autonomy, having control over the counselling process and maintaining anonymity. .
Participants appreciated the accessibility of text counselling and felt comfortable communicating through text. Despite the anonymity, they also felt they got to know the counsellor as a 'real person' and experienced a relational connection with them.
Text counselling may help young people balance their needs for autonomy and connection and facilitate their engagement with counselling support.