Teen Line, an anonymous and confidential hotline for teens, presented to freshmen in their English classes on March 25 about their program and the various free resources they offer.
Since the 1980s, Teen Line has taken calls, texts and emails for situations as small as an argument with a friend to more serious matters such as a suicide crisis. The organization doesn’t only act as a hotline but also does seminars and presentations based on how teens can reach out and get help with their personal struggles.
“It was pretty cool that they have a hotline for teens to talk to teens ‘cause we can’t really relate to adults,” freshman Valerie Romero said. “It’s easier to people our age.”
Some of the information shared with students included four important steps which are to ask, stay, listen and get help, according to Teen Line presenter Reyna Hernandez. First, teens ask directly if the person is okay or is considering committing suicide. Then they stay and listen to what they say so they can get it off their chest. And if they can’t stay, then they can send them to someone reliable that can help. Finally, the last stage is to get help for them. Authorities should be contacted if the person thinks they need professional help or if they are going to hurt themselves or others. If someone is hurting them, then tell a trusted adult or the proper authorities.
Teen Line’s work has earned them awards for their everyday work such as the Angel of Peace Award from The Violence Prevention Coalition of Greater Los Angeles and the National Peer Helper’s Association’s 2005 Program of the Year Award.
“The most important fact I learned from Teen Line is that no matter how small, how big your issues are, they are still issues and when you’re unable to talk, you can contact any teenager from the line and they’ll be there for you,” freshman Jessica Melkonyan said.
If you or someone you know needs help or someone to talk to, call (800) TLC-TEEN or text TEEN to 839863. Teen Line operates every night from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.