Teen Line/CENTER FOR THE STUDY OF YOUNG PEOPLE IN GROUPS

Teens Helping Teens

aka Teen Line   |   Los Angeles, CA   |  www.teenlineonline.org

Mission

To provide personal teen-to-teen education and support before problems become a crisis, using a national hotline, current technologies and community outreach.

Ruling year info

1985

Executive Director

Michelle Carlson

Main address

PO Box 48750

Los Angeles, CA 90048 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

95-3760982

NTEE code info

Hot Line, Crisis Intervention (F40)

IRS filing requirement

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

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

We provide immediate, early intervention for teenagers facing a mental health crisis. Since 1980, Teen Line has provided a safety net for teenagers through its hotline, website and outreach. Every night from 6 to 10 p.m., teen listeners answer calls, emails and text messages from troubled peers - helping them to explore options, offering referrals to community resources or many times, just listening. Calls range from problems with family or friends to issues of substance abuse and suicide. The teen listeners, armed with communication and active listening skills acquired in Teen Line's 65-hour comprehensive training course, are equipped with the resources to make a real, sometimes life-saving, difference. The teens that volunteer for Teen Line say this experience is life-changing for them.

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?

Community Outreach and Suicide Prevention

Teen listeners and adult volunteers participate in health fairs, events, and go directly into school classrooms to create an open dialogue on teen issues. We offer specialized outreach workshops on various topics and publish our own educational materials. Teen Line also partners with and assists numerous community organizations to help create a network of care.

Population(s) Served
Adolescents
Adults

Immediate, early intervention for teenagers facing a mental health crisis. Thousands of teens call, text message, and email our hotline every year. These are often from teens in need of immediate support.

Population(s) Served
Adolescents

Teens from all over Los Angeles have volunteered at Teen Line to help their troubled peers. Over a hundred teens volunteer annually. They complete a comprehensive 65-hour training program that focuses on the issues teens face, including relationships with family or friends, anxiety/stress, self-injury, depression, rape, pregnancy, or suicide. Teen volunteers learn that they are not there to judge or give advice but to ‘actively listen’ – a simple act that can make a powerful, sometimes life-saving difference. Upon completion of the training program, teens participate as "observers” and practice role-plays until they are ready to become listeners on the hotline. Troubled teens can either call, text message, or email our volunteers any evening between 6-10PM PST, offering them several ways to comfortably contact the hotline.

Volunteer adult mental health interns supervise and support the teens on the hotline. These Resource Associates are working towards licensure and planning careers working with teenagers. Teen Line is unique in its capacity to educate the teens who volunteer and the adults who supervise them.

Population(s) Served
Adolescents
Adults

Where we work

Number of youth who volunteer/participate in community service

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

Adolescents, Preteens

Related Program

Community Outreach and Suicide Prevention

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Teen Line teens actively participate in community outreach presentations to middle and high schools, youth groups, religious organizations, LAPD training, health fairs, and speak at events.

Number of youth who demonstrate that they have developed cultural competence

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

Adolescents, Preteens

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Youth worldwide contact the hotline. Teen Line teens respond with kindness and empathy no matter where someone lives. Their outreach presentations take place across culturally diverse communities.

Number of youth who demonstrate critical thinking skills (e.g., reasoning, analysis)

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

Adolescents, Preteens

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Teens on the hotline demonstrate critical thinking and listening skills in all peer interaction to analyze and respond to the situation. Especially critical in diffusing a suicidal teen,

Number of youth who demonstrate leadership skills (e.g., organizing others, taking initiative, team-building)

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

Adolescents, Preteens

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Teens organize and run 1-2 programs per year where they organize fundraising campaigns to support specific initiatives

Number of youth who demonstrate that they have developed social skills (e.g., interpersonal communication, conflict resolution)

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

Adolescents, Preteens

Related Program

Teen To Teen Crisis Hotline

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Teen Line teens employ active listening, use their leadership and problem solving and advanced communication skills working on the hotline. Public speaking and empathy are other essential traits.

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 Line is committed to providing support and resources to teens, our schools and communities. Our goal is to provide the support that prevents youth from spiraling into a crisis.

The Teen Line peer-to-peer hotline receives thousands of calls, texts and e-mails often from teens in need of immediate support. A significant number of our contacts focused on life-threatening mental health concerns, for which Teen Line might be their only resource. We feel it is our duty to help provide emotional support for youth through our hotline and teach them strategies to cope through our Outreach Program. The Teen Line Community Outreach Program not only reduces stigma by promoting mental health awareness and understanding, but teaches coping mechanisms and connects youth to helpful support resources. Starting the conversation early with youth can have a ripple effect in families and communities on reducing stigma regarding mental health, promoting early detection and help seeking before issues get to a crisis point.

Suicide is the second leading cause of death for 15-24 year olds in the in the United States. Studies show that at least 90% of teens who kill themselves have some type of mental health problem, such as depression, anxiety, drug or alcohol abuse or behavior problems. Teens aren't necessarily equipped to deal with the debilitating effects that these illnesses and life stressors bring, as they haven't learned healthy ways to cope and are hindered from reaching out for help due the stigma associated with disclosure. This poses a significant health crisis for adolescents.

The hotline is the heart of Teen Line. Every night Teen Line's professionally trained teen volunteers accept hotline calls, text messages and emails from any teen who needs an empathetic and non-judgmental arena where they can talk about their problems with another teen. Over a hundred teens volunteer annually at Teen Line. Their 65-hour training program focuses on difficult teen issues such as bullying, self-harm, relationships, rape, substance abuse and suicide. The training challenges perceptions and helps them grow as people and future community leaders. Volunteer mental health professionals, known as Resource Associates (RAs), provide on-site supervision and support to the teen listeners.
Community Outreach:
The Teen Line Community Outreach Program reaches thousands of teens and educators each year in Southern California. Through interactive presentations at schools and youth organizations, the Program aims to reduce stigma, promote help-seeking, increase knowledge and understanding. By teaching coping mechanisms and connecting youth to helpful support resources, the Community Outreach Program creates a safe space to talk about difficult teen issues, creates an inclusive environment and fosters empathy among youth. Over the past year, Teen Line increased its focus on reaching youth in underserved communities, where trauma is recurrent and supportive resources are limited.

To expand our reach to provide support for more teens, Teen Line will be launched the “Teen Talk" app in 2018. This chat app was developed as a means in which to provide more daily ongoing support to teens for their everyday stresses, such as anxiety about school or difficult relationships. While we are prevention focused, Teen Line saw an opportunity to provide peer support in order to prevent unhealthy coping practices and mental health crises. By providing a relaxed, online confidential space where teens can talk with our trained teen volunteers (called 'listeners') about their stresses, it provides a positive experience in reaching out for help and allows them to learn healthy coping strategies.

Teen Line has a unique ability to reach young people because it is a youth-centered program – for teens by teens – marshaling their extraordinary energy and dedication to help their peers and community. Teen Line pioneered the peer-to-peer listening model by establishing one of the first crisis programs for teens by teens in 1980. Located in Los Angeles, we reach a global audience providing an invaluable service to the teenage demographic wherever they live.

In addition to the hotline services and Community Outreach, Teen Line provides ongoing professional education and training:

Since 1996, Teen Line has provided Teen Suicide Prevention Training to the Los Angeles Police Department Juvenile Procedure Training School. We also offer our expertise to school staff and youth organizations.



Professional Training:
Teen Line offers expertise to educators, therapists and organizations with curriculum that includes “Suicide Prevention", “Suicide Postvention" and “Resilience."
Parent Education Program:
The bi-monthly Teen Line Parent Education Program helps parents better understand teen behavior, improve communication with their teen, and recognize the warning signs and risk factors for depression and suicide. The program includes a two-part parent workshop including sessions on “Active Listening and How to Effectively Communicate with Your Teen," and “How Do I Know if It's Serious." Dedicated Parent Website:
Teen Line produces a dedicated parent website geared to provide education, information, resources, and support, as well as a weekly blog on current topics of interest. For schools or parents outside of our service area, this website helps to create a network of care.
Educational Materials:
Teen Line publishes their own educational materials and maintains a database of nearly 500 agencies and programs providing services for young people. These resources are published in our Youth Yellow Pages directory which is also a downloadable app.
Website:
The Teen Line website (www.teenlineonline.org) is a critical source of education and support for the 3 million people worldwide who visit the site annually. Most widely accessed are the Message Boards, a supportive community of over 32,000 registered teens talking about topics that range from health and fitness to self-harm.

Teen Line's vision is a world in which all adolescents feel safe, heard and valued. We will continue to listen to teens and their families and provide a wide range of preventative services to support them.

Many adolescents experiencing mental health difficulties (such as anxiety/stress, depression, etc.) and psychological distress often seek information, community, and advice online, or from their contemporaries through social networking sites. However, these peer-to-peer platforms are not well prepared to support youth in crisis and could even worsen outcomes through normalizing or modeling maladaptive coping behaviors.

The Teen Line hotline offers youth in crisis a safe space where they can confidentially speak, text or e-mail with highly trained adolescents with the knowledge and skills and access to adult supervision needed to provide safer, high quality peer-to-peer support.Our Outreach Program aims to increase mental health knowledge, teach coping skills, helps participants identify their support network and provides resources.Increases in understanding and recognition of mental health issues helps youth identify symptoms in themselves and/or others, allowing for early prevention and intervention, lessening any period of undue emotional suffering. This information is more authentic and relatable when presented by a youth presenter,as peers are more trusted.By having teens talk about their own struggles and recovery reduces prejudice by creating familiarity and relatability and increases likeability of the teen with the mental health issue. When the stereotypes about a youth with mental issue are shattered, discrimination and exclusion diminish, which permeate their interactions with others with mental illness. This also reduces self-stigma in the teen speaker and provides self-empowerment and hope that comes with helping others through their story.Increases in understanding and recognition of mental health issues helps youth identify symptoms int hemselves and/or others, allowing for early prevention and intervention, lessening any period of undue emotional suffering. This information is more authentic and relatable when presented by a youth presenter,as peers are more trusted.

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, Constituent (client or resident, etc.) advisory committees,

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

    To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve,

  • 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?

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback,

Financials

Teen Line/CENTER FOR THE STUDY OF YOUNG PEOPLE IN GROUPS
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Operations

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

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
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  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Teen Line/CENTER FOR THE STUDY OF YOUNG PEOPLE IN GROUPS

Board of directors
as of 6/9/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Jeffrey Kaplan

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 04/15/2020

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

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability

We do not display disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.

Equity strategies

Last updated: 04/15/2020

Policies and practices developed in partnership with Equity in the Center, a project that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems within the social sector to increase racial equity. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.