Phoneline geared towards helping teens in need

Jonathan Moreno

When a teen has a problem or just needs to talk, they can turn to Teen Line, a confidential telephone helpline and communicate with specially trained teen volunteers.

Teen Line operates within the bounds of Los Angeles, California every evening from 6-10 p.m. PST and is toll-free from anywhere in California. Teen volunteers answer phone calls, emails and text messages, although they will not give advice but rather listen to the issues and concerns of the caller. No matter how big the problem or issue, teen volunteers are ready to help provide positive input.

“Teen Line is very unique because teenagers are trained to help other teens with their problems,” senior Xenia Chavez said.

Teen Line was created in 1980 by a group of mental health professionals who worked with teenagers and realized that a more comprehensive approach to adolescent mental health was needed. After extensive research and consultation, Teen Line was created. Since it began, Teen Line has been an associated program of the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center’s Department of Psychiatry since the beginning.

“The benefit to talking to a teen is that it is like talking to a peer who understands what you are going through in this day and age,” Maddy a teen volunteer said, in a telephone interview.

To qualify to become a teen volunteer, teens must be in either 9th, 10th, or 11th grade, however the fall of 11th grade is the last training period teens can apply for. Once a teen qualifies to become a volunteer they can go to the Teen Line website,, under volunteer and fill out the application and send it in as soon as possible.

Teen Line is based on the belief that when teenagers encounter problems, they usually turn first to their friends for advice. Teen Line also has a strong belief that something as simple as listening can make a big difference in someone’s life. Teen Line receives about 10,000 calls, text messages, and emails each year.

“Teen Line is such a unique system because I could call and someone younger than me could provide positive input that could help me if I might have an issue or problem,” junior Max Grinfeld said.

To contact Teen Line services simply call 310-855-HOPE(4673) from 6-10 p.m. PST or text “TEEN” to 839863 from 5:30- 9:30 p.m. PST.