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"Youth helpline" – thousands help calls answered


"Youth helpline" – thousands help calls answered

The 7 volunteers of “Jaunimo linija” get on average 14 thousand help calls from young people and 280 emails, of which 280 were related to speaking to a person who thinks of committing a suicide.

What happens if nobody answers the call?

In 2011 there were 1,9 million attempts to call to “Jaunimo linija“, however, only a small part of them were successful – “Jaunimo linija“ can answer on average only one call out of 20. There are enough people, who would like to become volunteers at “Jaunimo linija“, however they need to go through trainings before volunteering.

The project. Many young people face various difficulties that they cannot share with others – they do not have friends, they do not get well with their parents, psychological help is too expensive and smaller cities and villages do not have specialist who could help. Those who call for a help to “Jaunimo linija“ mention different problems the most often of which are thoughts about committing a suicide, relationships with parents, guardians, people of opposite sex or friends, loneliness, bullying. “Jaunimo linija“ is a way of getting a free emotional support at any time of the day. For money collected at 7 new volunteers will be trained to work at “Jaunimo linija“. 79 more volunteers will be trained in 2013 for money collected from other sources.

During the project the new volunteers will write about their experiences: starting from the day one to the first email answered and work on the phone line. Their experiences will be published and allow people who supported the project to get to know the whole idea better and will encourage them to volunteer themselves.

Extracts from the first trainings of volunteers at “Jaunimo linija“:

Aurimas: „I decided to join the “Jaunimo linija“ because I‘ve heard about people who killed themselves and about how hard the life is. I decided not to be mad with the dark but to light on the candle.“

Justas: „I‘ve never thought of who is on the side of the phone <...> I realized that people who surround me are crazy about doing good only to themselves, even if this means doing bad to others, strangers are suspicious to them. But here things are different - everybody is curious, sincere and ordinary, they want to communicate. I thought that I joined a team of great people. The trainings were a challenge to stereotype communication among people, it soon became clear that emotional support is not an easy thing to do.“

Aistė: „I am inspired not by the wish to JUST help people, but I want to help them TRULY and to do this as best as I can.“

The support will go for paying the salary to volunteer teachers, for renting a space, for ensuring appropriate work conditions to employees and volunteers, and for the administrative processes of the project.