Who We Are

Teen Line is an anonymous, nonjudgmental space for youth. Through our hotline, teens can access personal peer-to-peer support from highly trained teens supervised by adult mental health professionals. Our work extends to providing outreach and support to schools and other youth organizations.

Enjoying Sunset

Mission

Teen Line provides support, resources, and hope to youth through a hotline of professionally trained teen counselors, and works to de-stigmatize and normalize mental health through outreach programs.

Young Women with Backpacks

Vision

We envision a world where every young person can find hope. A world where all youth have the resources and support needed to thrive.

Diversity Students

Our Beginnings

Teen Line was created in 1980 by Dr. Elaine Leader and Dr. Terry Lipton.  Through their personal work with teenagers, they saw the need for a more inclusive approach to adolescent mental health.  After extensive research and consultation, Teen Line was born.

 

For more than 40 years, Teen Line has provided a safe, anonymous space for youth to talk about their problems. Teen Line is located in Los Angeles, CA, but its reach is international.  We support teens from across the globe, who contact us for personal teen-to-teen support from someone their age who truly gets it.

Who Are Our Volunteers?

Our volunteers who answer calls, texts, and emails from youth worldwide are high school students from Los Angeles, California.

Our volunteers - who we call “Listeners” - receive over 100 hours of training from mental health professionals and key partners. Training includes active listening, best practices on the different issue-areas and various identities of the young people calling in as well as role-play scenarios to anticipate the needs of the teens calling, texting, or emailing.

Who We Serve?

80% of youth who reach out to our crisis line are 14-19 years old, and about 20% are 13 or younger.

99% of our contacts come from across the US. Over 70% come from outside of California

The most common reasons youth reach out include difficulties with relationships, frustration with school, anxiety, stress, depression, loneliness, and suicidal thoughts.

Meet the Team

 
Cheryl Karp Eskin, MA MFT

Pronouns: she/her

Chief Operations Officer

Email: cheryl@teenlineonline.org

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Shamen Balasooriya

Pronouns: she/her

Chief of Staff

Email: shamen@teenlineonline.org

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Sharlette Maddela

Pronouns: she/her

Marketing & Development Coordinator

Email: sharlette@teenlineonline.org

 

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Sara Shewfelt, MSW

Pronouns: she/her

Outreach Manager

Email: outreach@teenlineonline.org

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Jenny Pascal,
MA, MFT

Pronouns: she/her

Training Director

Email: jenny@teenlineonline.org

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Elaine Leader, Ph.D

Pronouns: she/her

Founder

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Meet the Board

Andy Riemer, EdM

Board President 

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Sarah Kate McGowan, PhD

Board Secretary

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Robyn Kures, MA, LMFT

Board Vice-chair

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Julio Hernandez, EdD

Board Member

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Jennifer Eidinger, JD

Board Treasurer

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Bella McGowan, EdM

Board Member

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Sherri Zigman, MBA

Board Member

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Susan Goran, D.D.S

Board Member

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Peter Mezza 

Board Member

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Legs in Jeans

Thank You to Our
Teen Line Volunteers! 

Our volunteers make a tangible difference in the life journey of the youth who reach out! Click here to learn more about how to become a teen volunteer.