Teen LifeLine: Their Message to Hamilton

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Teen LifeLine: Their Message to Hamilton

Brock London

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On the 14th of January, Teenlifeline came to Hamilton high school to do a presentation to both students and parents. The organization, as speaker Macenzie Gates put in is, “an agency whose mission is to prevent teen suicide.” Parents were sent to the choir room while students were sent to a separate classroom. The students’ classroom speaker, Macenzie Gates, delivered an excellent presentation. 

Teenlifeline is “a big way that we help is through our peer-to-peer crisis hotline, where we train teenagers in the community to learn all of the basic counseling skills and intervention techniques to help their peers in any sort of crisis situation,” according to Gates. TeenLifeline trains teens to talk to others their age, helping prevent suicides. This truly an amazing achievement. “We also provide prevention services in schools and community organizations (law enforcement, coalitions, etc.). We work with school staff, students, counselors, parents, and other community members to help them be able to identify warning signs and risk factors of teen suicide, how to intervene, and what the next steps look like for getting someone help.” 

Mackenzie is one of many workers helping in the great need for teen suicide prevention. This is her personal story about how she came to join the organization. “I began volunteering at Teen Lifeline seven years ago as a peer counselor answering calls and texts on their crisis hotline. I volunteered throughout high school and college, worked a couple of different jobs in the field, then came back as a full-time staff member on the prevention team. I started as a volunteer because I wanted to make a real impact on people when I was a teenager, and there aren’t many opportunities at that age where you can truly change and save people’s lives as a teen. I also had a very personal experience with suicide in high school, so it’s always been something that’s important to me. I decided to come back as a staff member because I think it’s such an important issue and I enjoy working with and empowering teenagers every day, it’s truly the best job ever. Our whole model works through empowering teenagers to be able to help each other, and I think our mission is so important and the way we do our work as an agency is excellent!” 

Become a Peer Counselor yourself! Call between 3-9 pm at 602-248-TEEN (8336)or visit teenlifeline.org/get-involved/volunteer!