By David Albelais ‘22
“Teen Lifeline, how may I assist you today?”, says the volunteer of Teen Lifeline. Brophy students, along with many other schools, have a phone number on the back of their school IDs every year. This is the number of Teen Suicide Hotline placed by the Teen Lifeline Organization.
“Teen Lifeline has their number on the back of around 200 different schools around the state of Arizona,” said a call receiver of Teen Lifeline.
The volunteer or employee receiving the call answers calmly and patiently waiting to hear the caller’s problem and help resolve it.
Through a grant from the McKesson Foundation, Teen Lifeline began in 1986 as a program of Phoenix South Community Mental Health Center and was a school-based program in Central High School located in Phoenix. In 1988, Teen Lifeline began to recruit teens from all over the valley.
“I think the idea of the Teen Lifeline number on IDs is to let students know that they are not alone.” said Alex Zoneraich ‘21 a volunteer at Teen Lifeline “If someone is thinking about suicide, or even just wants to talk to someone their own age with no consequences, then that number would be available to them.”
As stated on their website, Teen Lifeline aims for the goal to finally end teen suicide and empower the youth with healthy decision-making skills.
The Teen Lifeline’s School ID Initiative is a part of the organization that promotes the influence of schools around the state to include the number on the back of their ID’s. This initiative is to help students be reminded that “they are not alone.”
Due to the pandemic, Teen Lifeline has been promoting their support more open to those who have been affected personally by this pandemic.
According to Alex Zoneraich, volunteering at Teen Lifeline has both changed his life and inspired it. “Little did I know that I would fall in love with it and realized that suicide is something very relevant in high school. I did not know what to expect at first and was nervous throughout my training to take my first call, but I realized that the people I talk to are just like me,” said Zoneraich.
“For Brophy in particular, I feel that it can serve as a resource for students so they know they are not alone. Especially in this time of Covid, being able to reach out to someone over the phone or texting so they can talk to someone about how they are really feeling can be really helpful for getting through these tough times,” said Alex Zoneraich.