Being a teenager is hard. They need our help!

Do you remember those teenage years? We do too! It is easy to feel overwhelmed and alone, but Teen Life exists to equip, encourage and empower teenagers to live life better. Get involved in one of the following ways:

Why Support Groups?

We believe that Support Groups offer teenagers a safe place to ask questions, receive the emotional support they need, and develop healthy peer and mentor relationships.

If these support groups do not exist, teenagers are going to continue to fall between the cracks. Instead of complaining about the current state of our culture, let’s encourage, equip and empower this next generation to make better choices.

# of students helped during 2017-2018 school year

# of trained Teen Life facilitators

We were so thankful to have Teen Life available to meet with our students. With more demands on the school counselor’s time, it is great to have a reliable option for help with our students. We are already thinking about how we want to use TL next year.

Dawson MS Counselor

Carroll ISD

It has been a great blessing to walk beside these kids on their turf, to equip them with some tools to help break the generational cycles of self-esteem, relationship, and spiritual poverty, and to assist them in casting a vision on where they want to be and how they might get there.

Jacob

Decatur ISD, Support Groups Facilitator

YOU'VE GOT TO CHECK THIS OUT!

Repost: The Ugly of “13 Reasons Why”

As a younger Millennial myself, I was both intrigued and disturbed by “13 Reasons Why.” While watching the 13 episodes of season one, I saw why it was so popular. I understood why teenagers were flocking towards its authenticity and courage to face topics that are often shoved aside. I got how this polarizing show was starting conversations and making an often overlooked population feel heard and understood. These are all positive things; however, I saw several things that made me nervous. Teenagers are at a vulnerable age, especially since they are so heavily influenced by the media. While I do agree with several of the things that this series can contribute to our culture, here are some things that I believe were lacking in “13 Reasons Why”…

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13 Reasons Why: Intervention

13 Reasons Why is the Netflix series that has made a huge impact, especially in the lives of teenagers and young adults. Because of the media attention this show has gotten, we have decided to tackle the difficult topics addressed in season 2. This is the first episode in a podcast series about 13 Reasons Why that we will be releasing in order to help adults have positive conversations with teens, whether you have seen the series or not!  In this episode, the Teen Life staff will briefly introduce 13 Reasons Why and then dive into the topic of intervention and how it is shown in the hit Netflix series. Chris, Karlie, and Beth discuss intervention in the midst of school shootings, self-harm, substance abuse, suicide, and more. You’ll find resources for teens and adults and some ways to start this conversation with the teen in your life. How do you know if someone is hurting? Listen to this episode for signs to look out for and some listening skills so you won’t miss them. Join the discussion as we talk about the importance of intervention in the lives of teenagers. 

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Repost: The Good of “13 Reasons Why”

*This is the first in a series of three blog posts that we released Summer 2017 regarding season one of the Netflix series “13 Reasons Why.” Subscribe to the Teen Life Podcast to catch our upcoming podcast series breaking down season two of the series. This is a great place to start though!

13 Reasons Why is a wildly popular series on Netflix. While Netflix does not release viewing numbers, Variety reports that it was the most tweeted show of 2017 thus far, having received more than 11 million tweets within the first 4 weeks of its initial release. The show is based on Jay Asher’s book by the same name and details the events leading up to the suicide of Hannah Baker, with 13 tapes identifying someone who played a role in her decision.

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Compassion for the Task at Hand

This past week I had the honor of speaking to about 100 students over the span of four nights at a church camp. I’ve never been asked to keynote a whole camp before, so obviously I was thrilled to have the opportunity. Our topic was about identity, which is a theme this particular group of students has been studying over the last year. I believe identity is one of the most important topics anyone can engage in when it comes to socialization, personality, spirituality, relationships, really anything. This is especially true with teenagers. 

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The Unexpected Loss of a Child with Dana Gage

We all dread the unexpected, but you never think it could happen to you or your kid. In the final episode of this series on The Unexpected, Dana Gage shares the story of her youngest son, Connor Gage, and his death in 2012. 15-year-old Connor went to the lake for a birthday party and after jumping from the boat dock, did not resurface. The Gage family was completely changed from that day forward, but there is so much more to their story now! In this emotional and honest interview, Dana shares the story of their family and their continued road to healing. It has not been easy or simple, but the Gage family is striving to live buoyantly in honor of Connor. In this episode, we talk about grief, the role of social media, water safety, and supporting siblings who have lost loved ones. If you have experienced the loss of child, or are walking through life with a teen who has lost a loved one, this is the podcast for you! We invite you to join our conversation with Dana Gage.

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Reach In

13 Reasons Why. Kate Spade. Anthony Bourdain. Suicide has been all over the news and social media the past 6 weeks. If you have missed it, you weren’t paying attention. Or you have been trying to avoid it. But it’s an important conversation to have and to keep having. As I read through articles related to 13 Reasons Why for our upcoming Teen Life Podcast series and scrolled through articles about Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain, I noticed a trend. Somewhere in the article (often at the bottom) was a disclaimer. These disclaimers have value and I believe should be included in media articles related to those who have died by suicide. It is definitely an improvement over nothing. It starts a conversation about suicide prevention and awareness – which we need. However, there needs to be more.

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