Providing teens with guidance in decision making

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Jimmy felt the pressure to take a hit.

He went to a party hosted by a friend’s friend, aware that illegal substances would be there and the host had a reputation.

Debating to fit in and make his friends happy or upset his parents, Jimmy was in a tough predicament.

Jimmy goes to the bathroom and calls Teen Line. The hotline for young adults is managed by teenagers in Southern California to help provide guidance in decision making.

Teen Line is based in Los Angeles staffed with trained teen operators in high school and college.

The line is open to anything teens face daily. Teens can contact for help through text, call and email. Call times are every day between 5:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. Pacific Time.

Senior Monica Bayasgalan said, “Once young adults are aware of the outlets they have to help make better decisions, smarter choices will be made. Teens needing guidance are provided with information and emotional support along with confidentiality.”

Operators are trained on a various modern controversial topics ranging from illegal substances to suicide or pregnancy. Their job is to listen, clarify concerns, and identify available options. Operators do not judge callers or give advice. They help the individual make positive decisions.

“Having teenage operators is what makes this organization work. They can identify with the caller and relate to pressing issues. Professionally trained, Teen Line presents a more approachable way for young adults to find help,” said junior Alex Lay.

Although the hotline is not currently open to volunteers, it is still a valuable source. Established in 1980 and endorsed by Cedars-Sinai Medical Psychiatry Center, the organization has been helping over 30,000 young adults in California.

According to the U.S Department of Health and Human Service, nearly 3,500 kids under the age of 18 smoke their first cigarette. Eight hundred fifty of those kids will become daily smokers.

Junior Abbey Holbrook said, “Many teenagers are pressured into participating in activities the individual wants to avoid. Teen Line is significant because it supports young adults to withstand peer pressure.”

Click here for Teen Line’s contact information.

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