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2016 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Teen Lifeline Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Counseling, Hot Lines & Crisis Intervention, Mental Health, Mental Health & Crisis Intervention

Mission: Teen Lifeline was established in 1986 to impact the devastating problem of teen suicide through a free, confidential, peer supported hotline and life skills development that empowers Arizona's youth to reach their full potential. The core of Teen Lifeline is its Peer Counseling Hotline which provides troubled youth throughout Arizona the opportunity to access immediate help from a Peer Counselor 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Teen Lifeline is the only Peer Counseling Hotline in Arizona and one of only 32 nation-wide. Each year, Teen Lifeline receives more than 12,000 calls for help from youth ranging in age from 8 to 22. Calls are answered by Peer Counselors who receive a minimum of 72 hours of training and are supervised at all times by a master's level behavioral health clinician. The training and staff support allow these volunteers to confidently help other teens resolve problems ranging from school problems and relationship issues to suicide, dating violence, and being a victim of abuse. By providing a free, confidential service, which is available to address any issues that a teen may be facing, Teen Lifeline helps prevent unresolved problems from leading a youth to consider suicide as an option. In October 2003, Teen Lifeline received Crisis Intervention Program Certification through the American Association of Suicidology and was the first peer counseling hotline to receive such certification. One of the core values of AAS is that every citizen has the basic right to necessary assistance in life threatening or other crises. This value reflects the basic philosophy that an active intervention must be done in life threatening situations. AAS certification assures the community that the services provided by Teen Lifeline adheres to current, nationally recognized best practices standards of care, training and a commitment to quality improvement.

Results: In 2013, Teens Lifeline received 12,757 hotline calls, an increase of 10.3% from 2012. This demonstrates that peer counseling continues to be a critical tool for troubled youth in Arizona. Our Community Education program reached over 36,000 people, providing awareness, education and prevention within the community focusing on various teen issues such as teen suicide, depression and grief. We provided services in 147 schools, 31 community and youth based organizations, 6 corporate business, and 9 conferences. Teen Lifeline has trained 73 new teen volunteers bringing our total to 106 active ten volunteers. All Teen Lifeline Peer Counselors complete the Life Skills Development Program before they can answer any calls.

Target demographics: Youth in Arizona.

Geographic areas served: State of Arizona.

Programs: The peer-to-peer hotline is a 24-hour hotline where teens can call to talk to teens and they can help each other make healthy decisions. Our Life Skills Development program trains the teens to answer the hotline, as well as teaches them skills such as communication, listening and problem-solving (along with other skills) that they will use throughout their lives. Our Community Outreach and Education program teaches teens how to deal with suicide and depression, grief and loss, stress and coping, and bullying. We also have presentations for adults on what to do if you believe a teen is suicidal. Most presentations are free of charge.

Community Stories

108 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My son volunteered as a peer counselor at Teen Lifeline during his high school years. Little did I know that his service there would serve him just as well during his tenure and now into his twenties. I know that he loved going there and helping other teens each week. He also made some wonderful friends with the other counselors and staff there. I saw the difference it made in his life to connect with other teens and know he was making a difference. I believe wholeheartedly in the organization and the work that it does each day to help the young people in our community.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was a active volunteer for Teen Lifeline from my freshman year in High School (1994) till years after I graduated. It was such an amazing experience in my life. I started with the intentions of helping others, not realizing how much of a positive influence it would have on my own life! Learning communication and life skills I still use in my daily life over 21 years later! TLL is an amazing organiztion that has touched so many lives! I am so proud to have been a part of it!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is a great organization dedicated to a great cause. I volunteered with them from 2006-2009 and it was a fantastic exprience all together. I would highly recommend them on either end, to teens calling in or twens looking to volunteer.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Teen Lifeline is such a fantastic program. Not only does it help teens who call in, there are parent and community resources as well. Peers who work the phone lines learn invaluable skills that translate outside of the Teen Lifeline environment, encouraging communication that is effective and meaningful.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

Teen Lifeline serves an important role in the Phoenix community and beyond. Through the work of experienced employees and well-trained teen counselors, they provide support to teens in crisis. The teen years can be challenging and parents can't always help. Peer-to-peer counseling has proven to be very effective. The goal of Teen Lifeline is to be a resource for every teen that needs help. Their outreach program is also a very effective way of increasing awareness of this valuable resource. Great work is being done by this organization!

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I learned about Teen Lifeline in 2013, much later than I wish I would have because I think this organization would have done wonders for me when I was a teen and struggling with depression. It would have been nice knowing I could have called and spoken to someone my age sympathetic to what I was going through. What they do at Teen Lifeline is important: it saves lives and their presence needs to be more widespread and well-known. I made it out of my teens thankfully, but somewhere, right now, a teen is struggling and this place is there to help them.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Teen lifeline is absolutely fantastic! They do great work that is crucial to the betterment of today's youth. Teen lifeline is dedicated to providing a service that no one else provides. Great people. Great work. Great organizing.

2 Tristan P.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Teen Lifeline is a truly amazing and life-changing organization. I have been a Peer Counselor for more than a year and have learned more than I could ever have dreamed about working with other people, talking and listening effectively, and most of all, I have learned a lot about myself. Teen Lifeline is such a gift both to the teens who call the hotline and those who pick up the phone on the other end! It is my place to come and share the difficult things going on in my life, as well as a lifeline for teens out there who do feel alone; the hotline can be their connection to hope and many times even saves lives. I am so grateful for Teen Lifeline and the important role they play in their community.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer at Teen Lifeline for almost a year and I wouldn't trade the experience for anything. Teen Lifeline is an amazing organization that reaches out to teens who don't feel like they have anything to hold onto. It amazes me each time I see how many calls Teen Lifeline has taken, how many people it has helped. Volunteering at Teen Lifeline gave me a sense of what it means to be a person and what it means to help another. In addition to this, the environment at Teen Lifeline is a loving one full of caring, considerate people.

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been involved with Teen Lifeline for 10 years. Thru all of those years, I've played a role in working on their annual major fund raising event as a paid consultant. After the first year or two, it was imperative that I take on a new role ... that of a donor. The organization was grass-roots, in the truest and stellar sense of the word. The board members were committed and worked in whatever role was needed to make the organization thrive. As the years passed, the support from the community grew and the scope of the work of Teen Lifeline was expanded to be more wide-spread, efficient, and life-changing. The chance to meet some of the young people that donate their time, to be trained and then be peer counselors, is enriching and rewarding to me.... these are our leaders of tomorrow and they are learning the attributes that will make them prosperous members of our community that know the meaning of "giving back." I've been honored to be part of the Teen Lifeline 'extended family' and will continue for as long as they will have me!!!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

What a gift during my teenage years to have learned to actively listen, to ask questions in difficult situations, and to feel empowered by helping other teens. Those few years in high school, volunteering at Teen Lifeline as a Peer Counselor, prepared me for nearly everything that came next in life. I am so thankful that I was able to be a part of such a transformative organization; one that impacts so many lives and changed mine. My time as a volunteer provided me with skills, that have helped me build relationships and resolve conflicts, improving nearly every aspect of my life and that I use every day. Because of my experience with Teen Lifeline, I know that connecting with another person begins with really listening to them and that inaction can cost someone their life.

1 Luis B.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Teen Lifeline is an amazing organizations letting teens, both the ones that call the hotline and volunteer here, find ways to cope with their problems in a good, healthy, and, sometimes, new way. Through this organization I have been able to learn a lot about the person that I am, why I am that way, and the person that I want to be. I have learned many skills that I know I wouldn't have learned otherwise, or at least not at this young age. Teen Lifeline, additionally, is able to create a real, direct change in the community. We are able to reach directly into the homes of teens in crisis and help them on a one-on-one basis. I don't think my life, and the lives of thousands of teens throughout this organization's history, simply wouldn't be the same.

Renee45

Advisor

Rating: 5

In 2012, Jennifer Collins and I co-chaired the Teen Lifeline Connections to Hope gala, and were so pleased to tell the story of this great organization. What we found was a fantastic, knowledgable, committed executive director with great vision and every day common sense. We meet incredible teens who took the time to learn skills that ultimately save lives on the phone. We found an organization that is run on a shoe-string providing world-class service and support. It was a pleasure to raise money for Teen Lifeline as we know how the money is spent...prudently and strategically. Additionally, we have seen first hand the impact this organization has had in the community with teen that we know and teens we'll never meet. They are all the same in our eyes and we are grateful that Teen Lifeline is in our community serving our teems who deserve a listening ear and strategies for coping for life's challenges. Thank you Teen Lifeline!

Donor

Rating: 5

It is very rewarding to support such an effective organization. By training teen counselors to help teens in crisis, Teen Lifeline saves lives and enables teens to become productive members of society. Teen Lifeline's focus is on serving teens who call them in crisis. However, there is a wonderful element to fulfilling this mission - the teen/peer counselors receive such valuable education and training and have a motivating environment in which to perform service to others, so everyone associated with this organization wins.

Donor

Rating: 5

Teen Lifeline is devoted to stemming the rising tide of teen suicide in Arizona. By involving teen volunteers on the crisis hotline staff, teens in crisis are able to reach out & interact with peers. The volunteer training is thorough and the adult staff/mentors are incredibly dedicated.

We lost our son to suicide at age 19. In 2013, friends embarked on the RAGBRAI (bicycle ride across Iowa). In anticipation of their ride, they approached us about using their ride to raise money in our son's memory. We collaborated on a suitable charity and agreed unanimously on Teen Lifeline. Our friends had previously worked with Teen Lifeline through a social ventures funding organization and were familiar with the organization, its excellent stewardship of funds and its dedicated leadership.

This endeavor raised over $30,000 for Teen Lifeline and had the wonderful side benefit of allowing us to become involved with the leadership and staff. The team is dedicated, tireless, compassionate, generous and exceptionally hardworking. It is our privilege to be involved with Teen Lifeline and we are deeply grateful on behalf of troubled, despairing teens everywhere that this powerful resource is thriving.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered at Teen Life Line from 1999 to 2003. During my four years there I had come to understand a lot about myself and life. I learned what it was to be there for others, to be there for people I have never meet and did not know, to be there for myself, and it became one of my greatest personal triumphs!! While many will argue that the program greatly benefits the people to who may call the line, it also benefits the volunteers as well. In truth, the benefits of the program are a two way street. I can’t speak for the other volunteers, but for myself, I suffered from the same afflictions (depression, confusion, drug abuse, and suicidal thoughts) as some of the callers. It meant everything to me knowing that I wasn’t alone in the world and that I can do more than stand quietly by while others like myself were suffering. My fellow volunteers and staff members accepted me and showed me love from the first day I arrived, and they continue to do so today. During my time there I not only learned to love myself and all that I am but I learned to love the world around me. Teen Life Line made me a better man! If I could, I would still be there volunteering! Teen Life Line became (and still is) the center of my personal perception and ideology of what I perceived to be good and positive in this world.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have worked with Teen Life Line (TLL), since its inception in 1986. Over the past 28 years TLL has been a leader in suicide prevention. Having both a "Warm" line and a "Hot" line manned by youth and young adults and supervised by Master's Level counselors requires extensive and high quality training. The training provided to the peer counselors is ongoing and addresses the most critical elements of intervention. It meets and exceeds the Standards of Care for accreditation with the American Association of Suicidology. As a propfessional counselor with 40 years experience in the helping profession, I have referred countless teens to TLL for support as well as those interested in becoming a peer counselor. The longevity of the staff and peer counselors working at TLL is a tribute to the passion, professionalism, and dedication to helping youth survive and thrive. Teens throughout the entire state of Arizona have been helped by this excellent organization.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered at TLL in high school (1990s) and it was an important, formative experience for me. The organization leaders and volunteers trained me in foundational counseling and listening skills that were useful then and have continued to be useful in my life and career. As a young person interested in pursuing a helping profession, my volunteer experiences at TLL gave me the opportunity to get my feet wet in a way that was safe, well-supervised, and extremely rewarding. The volunteer community was warm, inviting, and supportive - it also allowed me to get involved with a group of peers and role model adults that were outside of my neighborhood/school, which was an important, broadening experience. The opportunities for leadership and community involvement outside of the hotline were also valuable. Since my time at TLL, I graduated college with a bachelors in Psychology and Spanish, and I earned a PhD in Clinical Psychology and currently work as a Clinical Psychologist. My experiences volunteering at TLL in high school were my first foray in this field, and incredibly influential and important.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer at TLL for the last several months and it has been one the most rewarding times of life. It has been a joy to get to know everyone here as well as helping my peers. It is amazing to see how much our organization helps people. I have enjoyed my time here and hope to be here for a very long time.

Donor

Rating: 4

This is a great organization! The teens are passionate about helping other teens. Many of the volunteers have benefited from the hotline in the past and love having the chance to return the favor. The teens take the work to heart and balance the seriousness of the hotline with fun and comraderie among their fellow volunteers. The supervisors make this a safe and inviting place for all.