by C. L., Brighton, MA
Teen suicide prevention counselor sounds like a very daunting project for anyone, especially when you're a teenager. Yet, when the time came for me to decide what kind of volunteering I would like to do, the idea of crisis counseling became a natural choice. The idea of helping others come through their darkest hours wasn't something scary for me; it was a challenge to meet head on. So when I saw the name Saramiteens as a place I could volunteer, I decided why not. It certainly would be more interesting than being the standard hospital volunteer.
However, wanting to do counseling work at the Samariteens and having the guts and motivation for the job was another.
Five to six thousand teen suicides occur every year in our country. Drugs, drinking, teen pregnancy seem to be the problems teens are trying to deal with, but is suicide always the end to all this destructive behavior facing my peers? Don't these things happen because teens basically don't really like themselves, or think themselves valuable? Isn't suicide and all the negative feelings that lead up to this choice what really concerns the public? Teen suicide (or despair) is just as big a problem as the drugs, drinking and all that. Basically, that's why I became a Samariteen volunteer phone counselor. Underneath all the seemingly destructive things we seem to be doing for no reason hides sadness. I wanted to help my peers get through this.
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.