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2017 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

42 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

2 Sarah348

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Teen Lifeline has been an amazing place to volunteer at, I have learned many life skills that are ultimately shaping my career path. As a college student that is aiming to work with teens and leadership development, and this organization has shaped many amazing student leaders that have and continually help save lives and support their peers.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered for teens lifeline when I was in high school and during those years as a peer counselor, I not only feel like I made ano impact on my community but I had fun there and gained life long friends. Teen Life Line does so much to help troubled youth and I am proud to have been part of such a wonderful organization!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is such an amazing organization that truly helps give teens an outlet to get free help. Everyone is super friendly and professional. The outreach is fantastic and the results are life-changing. I volunteered when I was in high school 15 years ago and it really opened my eyes to the importance of being there for others. Fast forward to today, and this non-profit is thriving and making a significant difference to reducing Arizona's suicide rate.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Being in a new state, knowing nobody, being homeschooled, and living your life alone for over a year was an extremely difficult thing I had to go through. I felt completely alone, but then I found Teen Lifeline. I not only now get to help others, but I was able to help myself. When I first started, I was lonely, quiet, and scared. Teen Lifeline helped me break out of my shell and become the person I am today. Now, I'm as happy as I've ever been, surrounded by amazing people that I can call my friends. Not only that, but every single day I get to make a change. I get to be there for others and give them the help, support, and confidence that I wish I had gotten. Not a day goes by where I don't think about how lucky I am to have found such an incredible place.


1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Two years ago I had no idea what a coping skill was and that having one could save a life. Teen Lifeline is a place where I can be myself in a room full of teenagers who are just as much misfits in their worlds as I am in mine. I leave school every day feeling as if I haven't made a difference in anyone's lives. I transfer from class to class barely speaking because it seems as if my voice and opinions are not needed. After school I go to Teen Lifeline and find myself smiling and acting silly as if that is how I was acting all day. My personality has been transformed into a confident young adult since I joined the Teen Lifeline community. The welcoming atmosphere of the hotline brings out my true personality. I get to be the person I truly am. I love it here.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered with TLL for a little over two years in high school. The experience, although some may think short, was invaluable to me. The training for volunteers educates them to become an active listener. This skill is used by probably 99% of people almost everyday. To learn how to be an active listener at such a young age was very important. It has helped me build lasting and meaningful relationships. I went on to become a veterinarian after finishing high school and undergrad. One of the most important things that my training and experience at TLL gave me has allowed me to become an excellent veterinarian. I am able to communicate with my clients extremely well. I am also able to use my skills to help them through very difficult times in their lives (something they don't teach you in school). I feel that my time volunteering also helped me become more well-rounded. It really opened my eyes to what other peers in my city were going through. It made me appreciate everything I had. I also made great friends and always enjoyed being with the other volunteers!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Teen Lifeline is an amazing organization that seeks to help all people, even the volunteers! I have been volunteering at the hot line for a couple of years and just as us peers are here for the callers and their issues, the hotline is their for us and our issues as well and it is like a family. The organization cares about all people and wants to help them find better coping and better decision making skills.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Teen Lifeline is such a fun place to volunteer. Everyone treats you like they have known you forever! All the adults and teens who work and volunteer here are so close and they really care about each person who calls in. For callers it is a good place to call if you just want to vent. We want to listen and we really do care and want to here what you have to say.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

TLL is my FAVORITE place to volunteer!!! I wish I would of heard about it sooner! This organization is full of such wonderful, caring people that really form a sort of family. When I moved out of town I missed my friends and mentors here as much as my parents! The good that Teen Lifeline does is inspiring. It has been such a joy to watch it grow over 6 years and stay as involved as possible.