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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

3 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters



Rating: 5

Alicia at Teen Lifeline has gone above and beyond to support and educate students at our school in Mesa, Arizona. She has dedicated countless days and hours to present to our students and we continue to receive positive feedback from students, staff, and families in our community. The teen support line that Teen Lifeline provides has proved to be a valuable resource to our student population. I would highly recommend that more high schools partner with Teen Lifeline and educate their students about suicide prevention.



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!



Rating: 5

While recently trying to gain support for Teen Lifeline from a local business here in Arizona, I was confronted with a challenge. This particular business serves teens and their parents and were concerned about the perceived negative affect of trying to create an association between Teen Lifeline and their customers around the issue of suicide. They could see the great value that Teen Lifeline brings, but were challenged with speaking about such a negative topic.

I was more than happy to share with this business owner that Teen Lifeline is about LIFE, and about providing a safe opportunity for teens to share their struggles with a fellow peer, learn about resources and take healthy steps to feel better. I assured the business owner that, through my experiences with Teen Lifeline, that this is not about suicide but about saving and changing lives.

And, I have seen lives changed. Not only the lives of the teens who call with a variety of crisis and struggles, but the lives of the teen councilors themselves, the lives of the adult clinicians, the lives of the volunteers and the lives of the supporters. Teen Lifeline is an organization that is connecting people and creating unmeasurable results.

I am often thanked by the executive director, a board member, or a teen volunteer for my support, whether it is that of cash sponsorship, in-kind service or participation, and I am quick to reply - "There is nothing that I could possibly do that comes anywhere close to the value of what the teens of Teen Lifeline do everyday." There is no one organization in our community that affects so many lives as does Teen Lifeline. It is with great respect and honor that I share this review.