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How I Help To Help Others This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   For several months I have been working as a volunteer for The Samariteens, a suicide hot line in the Boston area. The most difficult part of this experience has been learning to listen to other teenagers in crisis. Many of the callers' problems and fears are common to teens, including myself and my friends; however, each teenager learns to cope with their problems differently. As a volunteer I am learning to listen and communicate openly with the anonymous teenager at the other end of the telephone line.

As teenagers or as adults, it is important to listen to our friends. Sometimes that means we have to listen carefully for the meaning behind the words being spoken. In approximately 80% of suicides, the person has given off warning signs that they wanted to kill themselves. But if no one is listening, it is impossible to hear their call for help. Those thinking about suicide are begging for someone to help them through the crisis at hand, but that "someone" needs to listen and then to respond. The listener cannot dismiss the plea for help or excuse it away by saying everything will work out ,the listener must seek help for his friend or at the least, direct his friend to an agency that can offer the needed help.

We all realize that suicide is not the answer, but a teenager contemplating suicide is beyond seeing any other solution to his problem. So as a friend and a listener, we must seek the help needed to reduce the number of suicides among teenagers. Communication is the key to so many problems in life, and communication is necessary if we are to stop the useless waste of life through suicide. I can help through my training and experience on a hot line, but everyone must help if we are to reduce the number of deaths. We must remember that we are all victims every time we lose a teenager to suicide. There are people who can help and, through agencies like the Samariteens, we can make a difference. n


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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