recap by Nina Dinan, age 13

On June 7, the Pasadena Central Library hosted a presentation by Teen Line, a life changing organization which allows teens to connect (literally and figuratively) with one another by providing calling, text, and email lines for potential users. Volunteers from grades 9 through 11 receive 13 weeks of thorough training before becoming listeners, who receive calls from teens in numerous predicaments. Volunteers also participate in outreach events, such as the one at the library.

Teen Line places each call it receives into at least one of 15 categories which represent the motives behind the call. For example, the most common motive is relationships. Teen Line places a call in this category when the caller’s relationship with someone or something is the root of his/her problem. The second and third most common motives are depression and suicide, respectively. (The latter applies to suicidal thoughts and intentions.) The attendees learned that by observing their behavior, we (all teens) can recognize symptoms of distress in our peers. These include preoccupation with death, the giving away of valued items, sudden mood changes, etc.  The attendees also learned some statistics regarding the issues (Did you know suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death for people between ages 10 and 24?) and ways to cope with our own potential problems.

Visit Teen Line’s website for more information.

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