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Hopeline Offers Teen to Teen Help

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For those who feel they've nowhere to turn, there is hope.
FAYETTEVILLE — If you and your teen just can't keep those lines of communication open, you can get help from the outside. Hopeline volunteers are by the phone around the clock. Teens can talk anonymously about what's bothering them, to adults or even to other teens.

Since 1970, the Hopeline has taken calls from people who need to talk about their problems. The volunteers talk on the crisis line, the teen line and the phone friend line. They are all important conversations that in some cases, could mean the difference between life and death.

Seventeen-year-old Betsy Carbrey is a volunteer. Carbrey enjoys her work because she likes to help other people, and because she's a good listener.

Carbrey has been volunteering since November of 1996. She is one of the 25 teens who volunteer on the 24-hour Hopeline. The Hopeline takes about 20,000 calls per year. They are calls from people with a variety of problems.

"They range from basic problems about interpersonal relationships, to 'I am having a problem with my girlfriend,' to very serious things like 'I am thinking about committing suicide, and I have a plan,'" says youth services director John Butler.

?Butler says the crisis line gives callers someone to talk to, and more importantly, someone to listen to them. It's an active listening philosophy that makes the Hopeline a success.

For Carbrey and the other volunteers, listening is a chance to help others during a time of need.

"It gives you a broader view of the world," Carbrey admits. "You're not isolated. You get to work with other people, not directly, but you're still helping someone, which is valuable."

Hopeline needs phone volunteers for its 24-hour crisis line, teen talk line and phone friend line. The training begins April 17th. For more information call832-3326. If you need help, please call231-4525to reach the Hopeline, and231-3626to reach the Teen Talk line

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Wisdom Martin, Reporter
John Cox, Photographer
Kerrie Hudzinski, Web Editor

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