TEEN LIFELINE INC

You're not alone.

Phoenix, AZ   |  http://teenlifeline.org

Mission

Teen Lifeline's mission is to prevent teen suicide in Arizona through enhancing resiliency in youth and fostering supportive communities.

Ruling year info

1999

Executive Director

Ms. Michelle Moorhead

Main address

PO Box 10745

Phoenix, AZ 85064 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

86-0966427

NTEE code info

Hot Line, Crisis Intervention (F40)

Other Mental Health, Crisis Intervention N.E.C. (F99)

Counseling Support Groups (F60)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Teen Lifeline was established in 1986 to address the problem of adolescent suicide in Arizona.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Crisis Hotline

Teen Lifeline operates a free, confidential peer-supported Crisis Hotline 365 days a year. Teens in trouble call or text the Hotline to receive supportive services and develop constructive coping skills as an alternative to suicide.

Trained teen volunteers staff the 24-hour hotline from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. daily. Teen Lifeline is the only peer-to-peer counseling hotline in Arizona. Because most teens turn to their friends first, peer-to-peer counseling has proven to be a powerful tool. Callers feel that the conversation is safe and private, and they feel that the Peer Counselor can "relate” to the pressure they feel. This perception allows the Peer Counselor to converse with the caller openly and without judgment. Adult supervisors monitor all calls and the Peer Counselors are debriefed after every call.

When Arizona schools transitioned to distance learning in March of 2020, we immediately extended our weekday texting service hours to 12 - 9 p.m. This 15 hour per week increase helped students feeling displaced and isolated find a connection to hope while learning at home. This proved crucial as teens dealt with unexpected losses in extracurriculars and life milestones—in the first month of social distancing, calls/texts to the hotline increased by 10% compared to the prior year. These extended texting hours remain in place today, over a year later, and will continue as long as the need is there.

Every year, area youth are selected to undergo the rigorous 72+ hour Life Skills training required to become a Peer Counselor. The training allows the youth volunteers to confidently help other teens resolve problems ranging from relationship issues to abuse, self-injury, and suicide. The training equips the volunteers with communication skills, life issues (drug, pregnancy, dating violence, HIV/AIDS, suicide, self-injury, and abuse) education, decision-making skills, referral, supportive services, and self-esteem enhancement. Upon completion of the Life Skills program, volunteers undergo extensive evaluation and qualified participants are invited to become Peer Counselors. Peer Counselors and then required to man the Crisis Hotline for a minimum of 15 hours each month.

Of the nearly 35,000 calls and texts Teen Lifeline answers each year, 1 in 3 callers is depressed and considering suicide. Peer Counselors understand the gravity of the situation and the responsibility that comes with answering a peer’s call for help, risk assessment, and an evaluation of alternatives. It is important to note that they do not make decisions for the caller. Instead, they help the caller evaluate potential outcomes. While most calls result in a satisfactory outcome (meaning the problem is manageable) the counselor is equipped to refer the caller to supportive services or follow-up with professional or crisis intervention if the problem is life-threatening.

Population(s) Served
Adolescents

The Life Skills program began as part of Teen Lifeline in 1986 and it has operated continuously since that time. Through the years Teen Lifeline’s reach has broadened but the intent of the original Life Skills program is still the same: to provide teens with the knowledge and skills to empower themselves and their peers and affect change in their community.

To date, nearly 1,900 teens have successfully completed the Teen Lifeline Life Skills Development program. On average, these students stay active with Teen Lifeline for 3 years, which is well above the average youth volunteer national average with an individual agency.

We conduct 4 trainings each year. In total, each participant must complete a minimum of 72+ hours of training prior to being eligible to serve as a volunteer Peer Counselor. The training is divided into three phases: 

Phase One of training focuses on skill building and knowledge acquisition within 6 key areas: Identifying Feelings, Communication Skills, Suicide Prevention, Self-Esteem, The Role of a Helper, and Problem Solving. Phase one is conducted over a weekend and is experiential and didactic in form. We take a humanistic approach centered on empowering youth to make healthy decisions. Our training processes has been rigorously reviewed by the American Association of Suicidology and found to be of the highest standards when compared with all other hotlines (teen and adult) nationwide.

Phase Two of the training involved 6 six-hour sessions where trainees learn about different problems teens face, the resources available to help, how to best deal with the problem while exercising the skills developed in Phase One. During this phase trainees will interact with current peer counselors, practice simulated calls, watch educational videos, call and update resources, and listen to Teen Link on various topic information. The topics covered include:

1.         Pregnancy

2.         Sexuality

3.         Runaway, gangs and legal issues

4.         Abuse (physical, sexual, emotional, dating violence)

5.         Suicide, self injury

Phase Three involves bringing in other community resources to discuss various treatment options as well as referrals for specific problems. This phase of the training will expand based on the current call volume of specific problems. When the Clinical Director notices trends on the Hotline, new topics and agency resources are identified and added to training. Suicide is the only topic that is covered in all three phases of training.

Once a volunteer completes the initial training, they meet with the Clinical Director to discuss their individual strengths and weaknesses. Training at that point is tailored to the individual need. On average, a trainee will receive anywhere from 80 to 100 hours of total training.

Population(s) Served
Adolescents

The conventional wisdom at many education institutions has long been to avoid talking about risky behavior or mental health issues for fear that by talking about them, we may actually "plant a seed" in a child's mind. New research shows that, in fact, good prevention programs can go a long way in increasing tolerance, reducing social stigmas, raising utilization and awareness of community resources, and, in short, helping adolescents get the help they need.

School administrators are beginning to recognize the importance of educating teens about the warning signs and symptoms. This new paradigm in adolescent mental health promotes education designed to reduce stigmas associated with getting help, allowing teens, families, peers and professionals to identify high-risk behavior before it is too late. By adapting their approach to prevention, administrators are allowing more students to hear the message of prevention. Through Teen Lifeline’s outreach programs they are armed with the resources they need to get help and they are provided with basic coping skills to deal with daily stressors.

Teen Lifeline has been successfully facilitating Prevention Education and outreach services for Arizona teens for more than 3 decades. Our unique program design and outreach initiatives have proven effective in connecting teens in crisis to the resources they need and, as a result, we are recognized as a leader in teen outreach statewide. The Prevention Education and Outreach Services' goal is to speak to more than 400,000 people each year and to provide them with Crisis Hotline calling cards, access to supportive services and adjunctive health resources, and basic coping/decision-making/communication skills.

Though many classrooms were remote for most of 2020, the requirements of the Mitch Warnock Act to train all school staff in suicide prevention still needed to be met. Teen Lifeline was one of the first agencies to provide virtual suicide prevention training for schools using approved curriculum and giving support to schools who had to quickly learn how to remotely identify and help youth at-risk. Our prevention education now includes a robust set of virtual trainings and eLearning units, meaning we can train schools and parents no matter if they are in-person, remote, or both.

Population(s) Served
Adolescents

Teen Lifeline's Arizona School ID Initiative is an effort to remind students that they are "not alone" every day by placing Teen Lifeline's number and information on the back of school IDs across Arizona. Most students carry a small ID on their lanyards that tells them if they feel like giving up, there is a resource available to them where they can turn to talk about their problems.

Having Teen Lifeline's number available on the back of school IDs is an easy and vital action that will connect every teen in Arizona to help and hope. Students who feel stressed about school, sports, family life, or anything in-between have easy access to Teen Lifeline's crisis and text hotline.

Several hundred schools across Arizona participating in this initiative which equates to over a quarter-million students who have a connection of hope in their pocket at all times.

Population(s) Served
Adolescents

Where we work

Accreditations

American Association of Suicidology (AAS) - Certification 2006

American Association of Suicidology (AAS) - Certification 2016

Number of crisis hotline calls answered

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adolescents

Related Program

Crisis Hotline

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

The crisis hotline is open 24/7, 365 days/year. From 3-9 pm Peer Counselors answer calls/texts. Teens hear about the crisis hotline from our School ID Initiative and school-based prevention programs.

Total number of audience members

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adolescents, Parents, Academics

Related Program

Prevention Education and Outreach Services

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Students, educators, and community members reached by Teen Lifeline's Prevention Education & Outreach programs. Programs are presented to schools, community, and youth focused organizations.

Number of volunteers

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adolescents

Related Program

Life Skills

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

Teen Lifeline trains new teen volunteers 4 times/year through the Life Skills Development training program. These skills include communication, listening, problem solving, and suicide prevention.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Teen Lifeline's ultimate goal is to reduce the number of adolescent suicides in Arizona by enhancing resiliency in youth and fostering supportive communities. We empower adolescents to make healthy decisions through our peer-to-peer crisis hotline, Life Skills Development Training, and Prevention & Education Outreach Services. Teen Lifeline seeks to educate youth and adults (parents, educators, and community members) about evidence-based suicide prevention methods.

Teen Lifeline pursues its goal of reducing the adolescent suicide rate in Arizona through a combination of our three programs: The Crisis Hotline, Community Education and Outreach, and Life Skills Development Training.

1. The Crisis Hotline is our cornerstone program. In 2020 youth reached out to Teen Lifeline for help by call or text nearly 35,000 times. This number represents an increase of nearly 30% from 2019. As has been true for the past several years, approximately one in three calls are about depression and suicide.

2. Our Prevention Education and Outreach Services provide suicide awareness and prevention education opportunities across Arizona. Teen Lifeline's Master's level Behavioral Health Clinicians provide evidence-based suicide prevention training to all education personnel, from Superintendents to bus drivers. These Clinicians also train counseling and other educators on best practices intervention procedures for students in crisis. In the classroom, Clinicians present suicide awareness and prevention workshops as well as workshops on grief, dying, stress, and anxiety.

3. Life Skills Development Training is offered to teens age 15 and over who want to become Peer Counselors on the crisis hotline. This program includes 72 or more hours of training on communication and listening, coping tools, problem-solving, and healthy decision-making. Teens learn responsibility, accountability, how to communicate with adults, and other valuable life skills. Peer Counselors are supervised by Master's level Behavioral Health Clinicians.

These three programs are fundamental to our mission of enhancing resiliency in youth and fostering supportive communities to prevent adolescent suicide.

Teen Lifeline's staff is well-equipped to maximize its adolescent suicide prevention impact.

We have increased capacity for our Prevention Education and Outreach services to respond to the ever-increasing demand for school-based workshops and educator training. Prevention staff includes both Master's level Behavioral Health Clinicians and individuals pursuing Master's degrees.

Teen Lifeline keeps its pool of Peer Counselors robust with the help of the Youth Services Associate. This employee focuses on recruiting and training new teen volunteers to serve as Peer Counselors. We currently offer the Life Skills Development Training four times per year, with approximately 25 teens completing each training. Each teen volunteer answers on average over 400 phone calls per year. The average length of stay for a Peer Counselor is three years, creating a superbly connected, stable youth volunteer corps with deep experience responding to crisis calls from youth needing someone to listen.

In 2018 we hired a Communications Specialist who has increased our social media outreach to teens and adults by using social media to drive our prevention and outreach messaging. This communication strategy has expanded awareness of our crisis hotline, suicide prevention workshops, and community events. Teen Lifeline also expanded its development staff to include both a Development Director and a Development Associate. These individuals fulfill the essential roles of acquiring, retaining, and stewarding individual, foundation, and corporate donors.

Teen Lifeline owns its headquarters and routinely invests in improvements and upgrades to its operating assets. In early 2019 telecommunications equipment, essential to effective operations, was upgraded and expanded. This upgrade prepares Teen Lifeline to meet demands for staff and communications growth.

In 2020, Teen Lifeline extended its services for its hotline, volunteers, and prevention education to accommodate the needs of social distancing and address the mental health impact of the pandemic, adding virtual suicide prevention trainings and 60 hours per month to its crisis texting services.

The Board of Directors guiding Teen Lifeline's direction adhere to the highest standards of fiduciary duty and ensure the sound fiscal operations of all aspects of the organization. Each member fully embraces Teen Lifeline's mission and readily advocates for the mission and for financial support within the broader community.

In addition, Teen Lifeline was the first peer-to-peer hotline accredited by the American Association of Suicidology. This accreditation is earned every three years by demonstrating adherence to best practice models in suicide prevention, intervention, and postvention services. The accreditation has been maintained without interruption since it was first awarded in 2003. At the state level, we are endorsed by the Arizona Suicide Prevention Coalition.

Teen Lifeline has had a substantial impact on youth suicide prevention in Arizona since its inception in 1986. The crisis hotline and Life Skills Development Training are the oldest programs with Prevention Education and Outreach growing exponentially since 2010.

The Student ID Initiative was introduced in 2015, placing Teen Lifeline's contact information and message of hope on the back of student IDs in one high school. By 2020, the Initiative grew by over 2,000%; to date, over 300,000 students across 260 schools carry Teen Lifeline's affirming message and phone number on their IDs. Teen Lifeline intends to keep expanding this initiative statewide.

In 2016, Teen Lifeline launched its text messaging service. That year also saw the launch of Teen Lifeline's eLearning program. In conjunction with EMPACT-SPC and the Arizona Suicide Prevention Coalition, a free postvention eLearning course is available to educators across Arizona. The eLearning program is currently under expansion. These courses will satisfy educator requirements for continuing education credits.

Expanding Prevention staff has had the largest impact on Teen Lifeline's accomplishments in the past 5 years. IN 2016, 70,000 people were reached through prevention and outreach while in 2017 that number jumped to 115,000. The most dramatic growth was in 2018 when 334,771 people were reached, more than double 2017 numbers.

Teen Lifeline plans to expand Prevention Education and Outreach services to communities statewide. Prevention coordinators are busy building collaborative relationships with schools across Arizona to expand the student ID initiative to all middle and high schools.

Teen Lifeline's board and leadership focus on solid core competencies, program growth, and responding to community and youth needs to prevent youth suicides.

In 2018, the board updated Teen Lifeline's Vision, Mission, and Goal statements as follows:
Vision -- that all youth possess a sense of connectedness and hope for their future.
Mission -- to enhance resiliency in youth and foster supportive communities to prevent teen suicide.
Goal -- that by 2030, youth suicide in Arizona will be reduced by 50%.

While lofty, Teen Lifeline's stakeholders are confident Teen Lifeline has the resources, personnel, and data-driven policies to stand behind these performance expectations.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Paper surveys, Community meetings/Town halls,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals,

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We act on the feedback we receive,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, It is difficult to find the ongoing funding to support feedback collection,

Financials

TEEN LIFELINE INC
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

TEEN LIFELINE INC

Board of directors
as of 6/14/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Gil Rodriguez

LaneTerralever

Term: 2020 -


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James Maguire

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Kellie Manders

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Christine Stangl

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Lori Turner

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Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 01/08/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

No data

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

 

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data