Thunderbirds Charities Donates $200,000 to Teen Lifeline

Thunderbirds Charities recently donated $200,000 to help Teen Lifeline respond to the continually-growing need for suicide prevention services in Arizona.

Contribution aids Teen Lifeline response to growing number of suicide prevention hotline calls due to COVID-19 restrictions

The donation will support the lifesaving peer counseling hotline and texting service provided by Teen Lifeline 365 days a year.

Support from Thunderbirds Charities comes at a time when Teen Lifeline volunteers are answering more calls from teens in crisis than ever before. The agency has continued to experience an increase, taking more calls and texts during the summer and fall then during the same time period in previous years.

Volunteers have also seen an increase in the acuity of the calls, with 1 in 3 of the calls being from teens experiencing thoughts of suicide and requiring intervention.

“Teen Lifeline’s peer counseling hotline and texting service is critical in making the difference for any troubled teen seeking the support or connection that will help them through their crisis,” said Tim Woods, President Thunderbirds Charities. “We are humbled by the work these young adults are doing to help their community and honored to support their efforts.”

In response to the increased need for the crisis hotline, Teen Lifeline has expanded its texting service hours. While schools are closed, teens can text (602) 248-8336 (TEEN) from 12 p.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays and 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. on weekends.

The hotline remains available by calling (602) 248-8336 (TEEN) 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Trained teen peer counselors, ranging in age from 15-19, answer the phones from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. daily.

In 2019, the Teen Lifeline hotline received more than 25,000 calls and 2,400 text messages from teens needing to talk about a range of issues including suicidal thoughts, depression, trouble at school, and conflict with a significant other or family member.

“Words fail to express how much this show of support from Thunderbirds Charities means to us at Teen Lifeline,” said Michelle Moorhead, Teen Lifeline executive director. “This generous donation will literally save lives.”

In 2019, more teen volunteers donated more than 19,000 hours of their time to staff the Teen Lifeline hotline. Each peer counselor receives a minimum of 72 hours of training before being permitted to respond to hotline callers. Peer counselors are supervised by a master’s level clinician at all times when answering calls and text messages.

In addition to the teen crisis hotline, Teen Lifeline provided prevention education and outreach services that reached more than 410,000 adolescents, parents and educators in 2019.

The donation is Thunderbirds Charities’ 12th donation to Teen Lifeline since 2004, totaling nearly $400,000. It is Thunderbirds Charities largest donation to the teen suicide prevention hotline to date.

Learn more about Teen Lifeline, its mission and the results of the organization’s efforts at teenlifeline.org.

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