Local News

Fayetteville Group Tries to "Contact" Teens

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FAYETTEVILLE — Most people have someone to help them work through a problem, but many teenagers say they feel like they have nowhere to turn.

A Fayetteville group is trying to fill that void by reaching out to young teenagers in trouble. The Contact Helpline is designed to provide guidance to teens.

Children shooting children in school, gang violence and teen suicide are just a few reasons why volunteers of Contact are more determined than ever to reach out to children under 17-years-old.

Leslie Gibson, Director of Volunteers, says if people know there is a crisis line available, perhaps they'll reach out for help, instead of striking out in anger.

Volunteers at the 24-hour hotline answer up to 800 calls a month, but only 3 percent of the callers are teenagers. With the ongoing problems facing today's youth, Contact is aggressively advertising their services to young people.

Karen Neadle, 21, knows what it is like to need someone to listen. At age 15, she called the crisis line for help. She is now on the other end of the line as a volunteer.

"It was helpful to me, and I thought it would be good to be helpful back," Neadle said.

Contact chapters are set up in 71 cities nationwide. The number is 910-485-4134. Volunteers can call 910-483-8970 for more information.


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