Didi Hirsch Announces Acquisition of Teen-to-Teen Peer Support Line, Teen Line
July 14, 2022
LOS ANGELES, July 14, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Today, Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services (Didi Hirsch), home of the nation’s premier Suicide Prevention Center and a leading provider of whole-person mental health and crisis care, announces its acquisition of Teen Line, the leading global teen-to-teen peer support line and youth-centered mental health organization.
One of the most vulnerable age groups impacted by today’s unprecedented mental health crisis are children, adolescents and young adults
, with suicide being the second leading cause of death for 10 to 24-year-olds. Each day in our nation, there are an average of over 5,400 suicide attempts by young people in grades 7-12. The acquisition bridges two leading organizations to more holistically support our most vulnerable demographic at a time when mental health challenges among our youth are reaching crisis levels. Didi Hirsch will have the opportunity to combine its mental health crisis care capabilities with Teen Line’s successful track record and youth-support services to further enhance the organization’s whole-person care model.
For over 40 years, Teen Line has provided support, resources and hope to young people through its hotline, taking calls, texts and emails by professionally trained teen and youth counselors and outreach programs. Teen Line’s approach of teen-to-teen support has proven to be an effective mechanism in connecting and servicing teens, not only on a national but on a global scale. For over four decades, Teen Line continues to train high school students to be listeners, empower them to become mental health ambassadors, and evolve to be change-makers in their community. Within the last five years, Teen Line has experienced tremendous increases in demand for services with the number of teens reaching out nearly tripling, and the number of outreach programs conducted doubling. The organization responded to 7,175 calls, texts and emails from teens in distress in 2021 and has to date, trained over 2,200 teens to be “listeners” on the hotline in order to provide the necessary support. About 70% of incoming calls and texts come from outside of California, approximately 2/3 are by 14-17-year-olds, and more than 20% are by 13 and younger. Teen Line volunteers responded remotely during the pandemic and partnered with Didi Hirsch to supplement services during an influx of calls and during their after hours.
“Teen Line has been at the forefront of mental health advocacy and change by providing a safe, anonymous space for vulnerable youth,” said Lyn Morris, CEO of Didi Hirsch. “Teen Line’s work, and most importantly their team will help Didi Hirsch on our mission to further expand access to mental healthcare and provide the necessary resources to youth and other communities in need.”
“We are beyond excited to join such a renowned and effective organization that shares our ethos and mission of mental health advocacy and crisis care,” said Cheryl Eskin, Chief Operating Officer of Teen Line. “Didi Hirsch will expand Teen Line’s reach to provide increased access to youth at a time when so many of our youth are struggling with mental health concerns. Together we can save more lives!”
Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services has been a recognized leader in whole-person mental health and crisis care for 80 years. Experts at its Suicide Prevention Center offer the nation’s most comprehensive array of suicide-specialized services, including multiple 24/7 crisis hotlines in English and Spanish, Crisis Chat and Texting, and Teen Line after hours. Didi Hirsch pioneered suicide hotlines and support groups for survivors of attempts and loss that are gold standards taught throughout the U.S. today. The organization leads planning and implementation for 988, the new three-digit dialing code that will route callers to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, across California, going live on July 16, 2022.
Teen line has a long trajectory, created in 1980 by Dr. Elaine Leader and Dr. Terry Lipton. Through their personal work with teenagers, they saw the need for a more inclusive approach to adolescent mental health. After extensive research and recognizing that when teens need help, they go straight to their peers; Teen Line was born. In the past 40 years, notable programs and innovative outreach has been developed, including the training of LAPD Juvenile Procedures Officers since 1996 and LGBTQ+ outreach since 1998. The organization has received outstanding awards and certifications, such as the American Association of Suicidology accreditation in 2005. Teen Line has also recognized renowned figures like the late Rosa Parks, activist and civil rights leader in 1999. Recently, this past February, with the support of Morgan Stanley’s Alliance for Children’s Mental Health, Teen Line piloted a Career Development Program at Applied Technology Center High School in Montebello. These trained students will ultimately answer Teen Line texts at their school site, expanding Teen Line’s hours and reaching into other communities.
Teen Line is possible through longtime supporters like Cedars-Sinai. Since 1980, their partnership has provided the office space and equipment needed for operations and will continue after this merger. “Cedars-Sinai is proud to support Teen Line for over forty-two years,” said Jonathan Schreiber, Vice President of Community Engagement for Cedars-Sinai. “Now more than ever, resources and a safe space are crucial to help our youth and adolescents through difficult moments.” “The unwavering commitment of Cedars-Sinai has allowed Teen Line to help thousands of youth worldwide each year,” said Cheryl Eskin. “We thank and commend Cedars-Sinai for their ongoing support.”
Teen Line will continue providing nationwide services to youth between 6-10 PM PST at 800-852-8336. There will be no disruption to Teen Line’s hotline or training programs. After hours, calls will continue to roll to Didi Hirsch’s 24/7 Suicide Prevention Center. Text services will carry on by texting “teen” to 839863 between 6-9 PM PST. Teens can also email another teen through www.teenline.org.
The official acquisition will be finalized by the end of the month.
Both organizations share a commitment to providing resources and access to the vulnerable communities in need. To learn more about Didi Hirsch’s acquisition of Teen Line, visit https://didihirsch.org/.
Founded on principles of health equity and innovation, Didi Hirsch has been providing whole-person mental health and crisis care to children, adults and families since 1942. In additon to the above, its first-in-the-nation Suicide Prevention Center trains students, teachers, mental health professionals, first responders, law enforcement, and others throughout the U.S. to save lives. Didi Hirsch professionals compassionately care for over 165,000 children and adults annually through outpatient, residential, and crisis services at 10 locations and nearly 100 schools in Los Angeles and Orange Counties. Learn more at DidiHirsch.org.
Since 1980, Teen Line has provided a safe, anonymous space for youth anywhere to talk about their problems with a peer. Teen Line provides support, resources and hope to youth through a hotline of professionally trained teen counselors and works to de-stigmatize and normalize mental health through our outreach problems. Teen Line is accredited as a Crisis Center by the American Association of Suicidology. To date, Teen Line has trained over 2200 teens to become “listeners” on its hotline, as well as mental health ambassadors to their communities.
Teen Line is open every night from 6-10 PM PST at 800-852-8336 or by texting “teen” to 839863 between 6-9 PM PST. Learn more at teenline.org or follow us on social media @teenlineonline.
Dora H. Nuñez
Director of Marketing and Communications
Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services
SOURCE Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services