The Agora Crisis Center, after 41 years of serving the UNM and New Mexico community via the telephone, is now offering the same free, confidential and compassionate listening and crisis intervention services over Chat/Instant Message. Agora will have an Instant Message services "Start Up" ceremony in the UNM Student Union Building Atrium Monday, April 30 from 12 to 1 p.m.

Agora's Instant Messaging service has seen a 500 percent increase among youth, ages 10-24 over its phone lines.

"We are now able to reach the youth population like never before," said Agora's Jeremy Jaramillo. "Forty two percent of all instant messages are suicides in progress."

Representative Rick Miera, the LGBTQ Resource Center, Sigma Chi Fraternity and Agora Staff will be on hand to speak about this much needed and well received method of helping those in need.

Other upcoming endeavors to improve emotional/mental health, increase graduation rates and prevent suicide on campus will be announced. Topics will include the new chat services, online and in-person trainings for every level of the UNM community, the connection of bullying and suicide, "bullycide" and more.

For more information about Agora's services, visit: Agora Crisis Center.

Media contacts: Benson Hendrix (505) 277-1816; email: bhendrix@unm.edu or Steve Carr (505) 277-1821; email: scarr@unm.edu