For teens in emotional distress, the option to speak to someone who is neutral yet understanding can help them face another day. This is where teen help hotlines come in.
With 24/7 access to a professionally trained helpline operator, troubled teens can seek help whenever needed.
Like everyone else, teenagers seek to be understood. So often in their lives, especially during the challenging adolescent period, they feel isolated and alone in their problems. This can spiral out of control, leading to the development of mental health issues and even substance abuse.
Teen help hotlines can help with this difficult transition into adulthood by providing a safe and judgment-free space to express themselves.
In this post, we will look at the value of teen help hotlines and what to expect when using a hotline. At the end, we will also include a snippet on choosing a hotline to fit your situation.
What are The Benefits Of a Teen Helpline?
Hotlines that offer psychological support have been around for several decades. In the late 1950s, the first suicide hotline was established in Los Angeles, which proved to be a catalyst for the establishment of similar institutions.
Since then, a wide variety of hotlines have become available, serving different age groups and sectors of society. They have also changed with the times, and some even offer text messaging as a means of communication.
For a youth who is facing a challenging time or trying to cope with a mental health condition, a hotline can give them the immediate support that they need.
Let’s take a look at some of the other advantages of teen hotlines:
Majority of the teen helplines available offer support all day, every day. Your troubled teen can pick up the phone and speak to someone in minutes, relieving them in the moment.
This is particularly beneficial if your teen is prone to emotional outbursts. When they are having a moment, they can take comfort in the fact that someone is always waiting to help them on the other side of the line.
Anonymous and safe
Hotlines are based on the premise of privacy. In part, it’s what makes them so successful.
Being able to talk openly and honestly about sensitive matters, knowing that what they say is safe, maybe just what your troubled teen needs.
An active and listening audience
We all need someone willing to listen to what we say without judgment. Even more so for troubled teens, who are often under scrutiny in their daily lives and actions.
Hotline operators do just this. After intensive training, they are equipped with active listening skills that may help their teen through an emotional or mental episode.
Crisis management and suicide prevention
Hotline operators are trained to identify warning signs that a teen is in danger. They do this by asking the right questions about the teen’s safety and mind.
If they feel that there is a more severe problem, such as a child contemplating suicide, they can provide immediate intervention.
Educational and informative
While your teen talks about their problems to a hotline operator, they are also allowed to learn more about handling what is causing them distress.
At the same time, they are given accurate information to their questions, whether it’s about sexuality, relationships, or suicide.
This is a much more desirable alternative to scouring the World Wide Web for answers to their questions.
Sometimes, hotline operators may feel like the teen they’re talking with needs more professional help. Or the teen is seeking advice on how to find support for their mental health challenges.
In these cases, the operator will refer the caller to a mental health provider in their area so that they can get professional assistance.
They can also give referrals and advice on treatment centers, such as therapeutic boarding schools.
What to Expect When Your Teen Makes That Call
As a parent, you may be wondering what happens when your teen accesses the services of a teen helpline. Each hotline has varying protocols to follow, but the basic concept is the same for most.
After dialing the number, your teen will be connected to an automated messaging system that will direct them to a consultant specializing in their problem.
Once on the line with someone, your child may be required to answer a few simple questions, such as name, age, and location. It’s important to remember that this information is strictly confidential and won’t be shared outside of the hotline.
The consultant’s priority is to assess your teen to determine if there is any need for emergency intervention, such as in the case of potential suicide.
After these formalities, the conversation can begin. The consultant acts as the listener, engaging and prompting responses from your teen.
At most hotline centers, the service doesn’t end as soon as the call ends. There may be follow-up calls or text messages to ensure the continuous management and support of your teen’s problems.
It’s important to respect your child’s privacy when it comes to them using a teen helpline. Try not to pry or ask too many questions about what was discussed in their session. It is, after all, confidential.
How To Find A Hotline
There are hundreds, if not thousands, of teen helplines available to choose from.
You and your teen are looking for a hotline that caters to their specific mental health challenge or one that suits your teen’s personality and preference.
Some may prefer to interact in a text format, while others appreciate the personal experience in a telephonic setting. Either way, deciding on the best hotline takes some research.
One way you can take a more active role in your troubled teen’s healing is to help them look through different hotline options and then discuss the pros and cons of each.
This collaborative activity will show your teen that you are committed to their mental health and are willing to support them through the challenges.
Troubled Teen Help Hotlines Can Help
Help hotlines are beneficial for both the troubled teen and their family. With access to any time of the day and night, youths facing mental health challenges can pick up the phone and speak to someone about it openly and honestly.
In this judgment-free zone, your child can kick start their healing journey.
Another course of action is treatment centers for your troubled teen. Speak to Help Your Teen Now to learn how therapeutic boarding schools can help teens navigate their issues.