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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
Joiiie Offline
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Lightbulb Idea!: How do you feel about this? - July 15th 2009, 06:42 PM

Hello,
As a teen boy that has been through a lot in the past few years, and a teen who has turned to multiple hotline numbers just for someone to talk to, I have a proposition. I'm not really sure who to talk to about this first, so I decided to try here. From my recent experience with help hotlines that are managed by people that are far past their teen years, I have come to the conclusion that they are only somewhat effective, mainly because of the large age gap between the caller, and the counselor. I have had this idea for a while now, but had no idea how to pursue it.

I am interested in establishing a support hotline that is managed by teenagers, for teenagers. There are already a few out there, but they only offer operator position to people in their areas. I would like to establish one that connects teens from all over the country. I want to see a central number that people could call, that will connect them to one of our highly screened, trained, and tested, on-call individuals. I really think that something like this could change lives.

I would be personally willing to build, staff, manage, and organize this project, but I would need some kind of sponsor. Not necessarily a financial sponsor, although that would be helpful. But someone that could get the word out. I would be willing to collaboratively work with others on this project, giving that they are willing to sponsor or staff.

I don't intend this to be a counselor, guidance, or suicide hotline. But more like a support group built upon a few polite, supportive, and clear headed volunteers between the ages of 14 and 18.

Please let me know what you think, even if a sponsorship or staff is not likely,
Joe.
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eunoia Offline
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Re: Idea!: How do you feel about this? - July 15th 2009, 07:07 PM

I think, while this is a good idea, it would be difficult. It is very altruistic of you to want to help people in need, but there are a lot of factors which play into helping people in crisis.

I mean... just look at one aspect: the complex nature of human guilt. I reckon most of the people who operate hotlines are over 18 because it is unfair to expect a person to be okay with "not knowing" to begin with. It is all too easy to feel responsible for someone being hurt or lost, you know? And it isn't that teens are incapable of helping other people, but in a crisis situation you have to consider the well-being of these minors.

Which takes us directly to the fact that most parents would be highly uncomfortable with their children operating a suicide hotline and, if they were under the age of 18, they would need a parent's consent to be trained and all.

Which ties right into the money factor. It costs money to train people and, not to mention, to buy a phone number. If your phone number isn't toll free, people will be unable to call because they won't want their parents to get a long-distance phone bill and have to explain it.

I'm not trying to be Debbie Downer, here. But if this is something you really want to do, you're going to have to think about all of these things, you know?



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Re: Idea!: How do you feel about this? - July 15th 2009, 07:47 PM

Very good points, but as stated above, the idea is a support group, not a suicide or crisis hotline. There are multiple in person support groups, this would be taking that concept and making it nation wide, via phone. I have already researched obtaining a phone number, although the numbers I have researched are not toll free, most households now have a long distance plan. Not only that, but most teen aged people have cell phones, which offer free calling after certain times and on weekends. There are very many aspects to think about, but I think that if it was really solidified it could work out as planned.
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eunoia Offline
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Re: Idea!: How do you feel about this? - July 15th 2009, 08:58 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoieJawdropp View Post
Very good points, but as stated above, the idea is a support group, not a suicide or crisis hotline. There are multiple in person support groups, this would be taking that concept and making it nation wide, via phone. I have already researched obtaining a phone number, although the numbers I have researched are not toll free, most households now have a long distance plan. Not only that, but most teen aged people have cell phones, which offer free calling after certain times and on weekends. There are very many aspects to think about, but I think that if it was really solidified it could work out as planned.
But a "support group" would imply (to me) the ability for multiple people to chat at once. It sounds like what you're wanting to do is basically just... have a phone number people can call to talk to other people?

If it's not toll free, it actually will matter because "most" households are cutting back on things like long distance land line phones due to the economy, for example.

I'd also urge you to look into the legal side of things. What happens if an angry or grieving parent sues you, for example?



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Re: Idea!: How do you feel about this? - July 27th 2009, 06:33 PM

I believe this would be a very good idea. Lots of people do need help and reaching out to them is a great thing to do, so yes, go for it.
There's this hosting web site, WWW.Own-Free-WebSite.Com It's free and easy to wrok with, and for the forum, there's WWW.LeFora.Com Also free and easy to deal with
Hoping you the best with this, and I'd love to volunteer and be on your staff, if you'd like.
   
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Re: Idea!: How do you feel about this? - August 3rd 2009, 02:47 AM

You do make a point. There is also the thought that adults have "been there done that." And can talk from experience. Still, I like your idea.


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