Teen-Line, Ireland’s only freephone non-directive listening support service specifically for teenagers will launch its secondary schools talks in Meath this February.
The schools talks aim to highlight the helpline service provided by Teen-Line.
Teen-Line is currently contacting all secondary schools in Meath to set up talks in schools. The talks will inform students of the service Teen-Line provide including the opening hours, who answers the calls, why the helpline exists and the fact that it is a freephone, non-judgemental and confidential service. The talks also focus on the importance of talking in terms of dealing with mental health issues.
“Many schools run a Mental Health Awareness week and this is an ideal time for us to come in and speak with students about Teen-Line. There has been a very strong uptake among the schools we’ve contacted and we’re hoping to have visited all the secondary schools in Meath by the end of the school year,” said Maureen Bolger, Teen-Line founder.
Teen-Line provides a confidential free-phone listening support service for teenagers, who may be feeling alone, worried or distressed. The service is open seven days a week from 8pm to 11pm with an extended service from 4pm to 11pm every Wednesday to cater to the many second level school half-days. The free phone number is 1800 833 634. The help-lines are run by dedicated volunteers, all of whom are garda vetted, a minimum of 21 years of age and are fully trained in-house.
Calls made to Teen-Line’s helpline in 2013 have risen by 65 per cent from 2012 indicating the increased demand for the service.
Active calls, where volunteers engage with the caller have increased by 55 per cent since 2012. Females make up the majority of calls, with three out of every four callers being female.
October, November and December are the busiest months for the helpline. Exam time seems to take a toll on teenagers as June is the third busiest month.
“Teenagers call the helpline for a myriad of reasons, from bullying in school to complex family issues. Often callers do not have to have an issue or a problem – they can ring up for a chat with a volunteer,” said Ms Bolger.
Schools can book a talk by contacting Paula on firstname.lastname@example.org or calling the office on 01 462 2128.
Teen-Line Ireland was founded by Maureen Bolger in 2006 following the death of her son, Darren who took his own life in 2003. Maureen wanted to provide a safe place for teenagers to talk.