YouthLine offers help, understanding to teens dealing with mental health issues

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PORTLAND, Ore. – Teens in Oregon and across the country are facing an unimaginable amount of pressure – everything from school, home life, and expectations can lead to anxiety, depression and dark thoughts.

Studies show that suicide is the third-leading cause of death for people between the ages of 10 and 24. Experts also point out that anxiety rates and suicide attempts go up during the school year.

Even with more awareness and anti-bullying campaigns, statistics prove the problem is getting worse.

“It’s really important for people to know there are other people going through the same things or similar things and that there is help,” said YouthLine volunteer Gabby Paisner.

Oregon YouthLine is part of Lines for Life, a call center where teens can call, text or email and find someone to talk to about the 'tough stuff'

“It can be really scary to say out loud, because those aren't good feelings or feelings we like to have,” Paisner said.

Many of the volunteers like Paisner and Ryan Ezzell were drawn here because of personal experience.

“I feel like people really need it. Everyone goes through these difficult times,” Ezzell said.

The teens go through more than 40 hours of training to help other teens with an array of things surrounding mental health.

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“It’s really important for people to know there are other people going through the same things, or similar things, and that there is help,” Paisner said.

“In my own personal life, I have had some experiences myself and other people I know, who have had problems with mental health, so it was an issue that was important to me,” she continued.

Lines for Life and YouthLine help anyone struggling with addiction, thoughts of suicide and other concerns pertaining to mental health.

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