Since Teen Lifeline began in 2008, it has been part of our task to know what resources are out there, connect to them, evaluate them and share them with the people that need them. In spite of our efforts and the efforts of those around us, it is still difficult, especially in times of great need (crisis), to know where to get those resources. This is why I still hear school counselors say, “When (it) happened, we didn’t know who to call.” It is also why parents share the same sentiment.
I believe the core reason for this is that in times of crisis or even just an extended adrenaline rush, our brains are trying to access information that we have not spent time inputting into our brain. Once I realized this for myself, I began to make some changes in the kinds of information I chose to intake. I decided to begin consuming the information I may need in a crisis or simply a difficult situation so that my brain could recall it when I needed it. If my brain couldn’t recall it, I wanted to be able to know where to look or who to call.
The fact is, if you are a school counselor or a parent or a youth worker of any kind, and you talk to a teen dealing with a difficult issue or who is in crisis, and Google “teen counseling” or “teen in crisis,” you will get hundreds of millions of hits. Where do you go from there?