In spring 2002, focus groups joined together to answer one important question: how can we support the mental health of young people in Clark County? Their voices were loud and clear. There was a time and a place for a therapist, counselor, doctor or clinic, but what was needed early on was a peer who was safe to talk to. There are situations when the best kind of friend is someone who is your age, who might not have any idea who you are, but has the talent to truly listen. The focus groups of youth had one strong and clear recommendation: create a support line where youth can talk to another young person about their struggles.
The facilitator of the focus groups forwarded the recommendations to the Board of County Commissioners (now called the Clark County Council) which agreed to support the recommendation of young people.
In December 2003, volunteers opened for business and got their first call.
In the 14 years since, young people have volunteered thousands of hours to shine a light of kindness out into their community. Our volunteers have had conversations about any topic or struggle you can imagine. While our volunteers couldn’t be more different, they share one essential thing: they feel strongly about being respectful and helpful to others.
Before getting on the line, each volunteer learns they likely won’t be able to fix the struggles that are shared with them. They learn there is great help in listening without judgment, and giving encouragement in their own unique ways.