Teen Lifeline aims to help teen struggling with suicidal thoughts

PHOENIX (FOX 10) - It's easy to forget how powerful having a simple conversation can be, in fact, Nikki Konta, clinical director at Teen Lifeline, says when it comes to preventing teen suicide, having the right conversations can be life-saving.

"I think that anytime we have an opportunity to connect parents to kids and teach them how to have conversations so that our kids know that we are a place that they can go to is great," she said.

As a peer-to-peer resource center, the mission of Teen Lifeline is to provide safe, confidential and crucial crisis service aimed to guide teens to make healthy decisions.

The numbers, however, are alarming.

"Our calls continue to increase every year," Konta said. "Last year, we received just under 25,000 calls and texts from teenagers and children across the entire state. A third of those are kids that are thinking about giving up."

Konta says there are three main issues the majority of teens face -- problems at home, problems in relationships and problems with friends.

Konta says even though part of Teen Lifeline is peer-to-peer counseling, anyone can call.

"We always want families to know that they can also call us, not just the kids, the parents can also call us if you're worried about your child," she said.

Because after all, having a healthy open dialogue can be extremely helpful for everyone, and if you need help getting the tools to start those types of conversations, a resource like Teen Lifeline is a great place to begin.

"You can call us and figure out how to have that conversation, how to talk about those difficult things and how to talk about it openly that allows our kids to want to come to us instead of being scared," Konta said.

If you or a loved one is feeling distressed, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline or visit suicidepreventionlifeline.org. The crisis center provides free and confidential emotional support 24 hours a day, seven days a week to civilians and veterans.

Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. Or text 741-741.