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Calls to Teen Suicide Help Lines Increase After Robin Williams' Death
Updated: Wednesday, August 20 2014, 11:29 PM CDT
gives teens who are hurting a chance to call, text or chat twenty-four
hours a day, seven days a week. Teens can talk directly with someone
their age every day from 4:00 pm to 10:00 pm.
"We're trying to help people live better lives. And help people get from
rock bottom to even like a step above that," said Ted Acton, a
17-year-old Youthline volunteer. "We're trying
to put people a little bit ahead of where they were before they talked
The volunteers listen for signs that the teen contacting them may be on the edge.
The volunteers assess the risk of suicide in the teens and guide them to places that can help.
The volunteers are surrounded by people who can help them.
"The whole room's here. You have two to three shift partners rooting for
you and your shift supervisor ready to help you out if you need it,"
said Brennan Crombie, age 17.
Acton said the experience of working with Youthline has transformed him
and other volunteers. They learn to listen in a non-judgmental,
non-critical way, even when the teen contacting them is making poor life
"They know it's a bad decision. We know it's a bad decision. They don't
need to be told over and over again that what they do is wrong. They
need someone to talk to who isn't going to do that for them. And that's
what we do," said Acton.
Several of the volunteers are leaving for college now, after a year with the Youthline.
"Nothing compares to this experience," said Acton. "This stuff changes your life."
The Youthline is directed toward Oregon kids, but teens anywhere can and do call.
The Youthline number is 877-968-8491, and people will answer the call twenty-four hours a day.
The teen volunteers will answer from 4:00 pm to 10:00 pm every day.
You can also text "teen2teen" to 839863