Teen Lifeline is introducing the nation’s first teen-centric Caring Contacts program aimed at reducing repeated suicide attempts among teens in Maricopa County.

Through the program, volunteer peer counselors will reach out to teens who have been discharged from the hospital following a suicide attempt through brief, encouraging phone calls, texts or handwritten notes. The regular contacts last for one full year after a teen’s discharge.

“Studies have shown the Caring Contacts program reduced suicide deaths by up to 100 percent and decreased future hospitalizations by 75 percent among adult participants,” said Nikki Kontz, clinical director at Teen Lifeline. “We believe this incredible program will have a similarly positive impact among Arizona’s teens because it reaches high-risk patients that do not stay in therapeutic care.”

The Teen Lifeline model is the first time the program has been introduced to teens under 18 years of age.

Arizona youths dealing with thoughts of suicide, depression, trouble at school, fights with a significant other, family issues or who just need to talk, are encouraged to call the Teen Lifeline hotline at 602-248-8336 or 800-248-8336.

Trained teen peer counselors ranging in age from 15-18 answer the phones at Teen Lifeline from 3 p.m. until 9 p.m. daily, including holidays. Trained, adult counselors respond to calls to the hotline at all other times 24/7/365. Teens can also text the hotline at 602-248-8336 between the hours of noon and 9 p.m. on weekdays and 3 p.m. and 9 p.m. on weekends.

For more information, visit www.teenlifeline.org.


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