As Young Life leaders enter the world of kids, they witness firsthand the reality of adolescent struggles. Young Life leaders support kids who struggle with risky behaviors, depression, suicidal thoughts, self-harm, and even death by suicide.
We take our work in caring for kids’ wellbeing through their struggles seriously. Our staff and volunteers receive training in the signs and symptoms associated with child abuse, teen suicide, self-harm, and other crisis situations. Staff and volunteers receive training related to appropriate crisis intervention steps. Additionally, there is training in the support they can offer to families under these stressful circumstances.
- We have a 24/7 crisis line that Young Life leaders can call to speak with a licensed professional with concerns about the safety of any student and advice toward the steps they can take to keep them safe.
- When warranted, those calls lead to a direct intervention with a call to 911 and/or a call to involve parents to support and keep their kids safe.
- When involving parents, we recommend that they seek professional help and offer referrals to support kids and families under stressful circumstances.
Adolescents who enter adulthood with positive mental health are those with coping skills and resilience in the face of stress and pressure. Studies show that one of the top contributors to resiliency in young people is a close relationship with a caring adult.
Young Life believes that all kids, particularly hurting kids, need caring adults who will listen without judgment. Young Life leaders are doing this every day. They enter the world of kids and cultivate friendships. Leaders seek to give kids safe spaces to be themselves, as well an adult friend who can help them manage the pressures they face, so kids can thrive in adolescence.