TeenHope is a teen mental health program that screens for depression and suicide risk of students in Lancaster County middle and high schools. The program’s goal is to identify at-risk students who are flying below the radar before a crisis situation occurs.
After kids are identified as at-risk, TeenHope collaborates with parents and teenagers to connect them with mental health organizations in the area for appropriate interventions as needed.
The program is currently in 16 local schools and have identified that about 22.3% of all students were depressed, anxious or at-risk for suicide.
But there is hope! Many studies have shown the effectiveness of early intervention in mental health and the role it plays in recovery.
The TeenHope mental health program is almost 100% donor-funded. With the help of our community, more kids in Lancaster County schools who are at-risk for suicide continue to be identified and receive the help they desperately need.
For more information about the TeenHope program, please contact Valerie Minnich, director of TeenHope, at email@example.com or at 717-560-9969, extension 268.
Teen Mental Health Facts
According to the 2019 Pennsylvania Youth Survey, 37% of teens in Lancaster County say they’ve felt depressed or sad most days over the past year.
Even more heartbreaking is that 16% of teenagers considered suicide and 9.4% attempted suicide. That means about 9,000 teenagers in Lancaster County attempted suicide in 2019.
Through TeenHope, we’ve encountered similar numbers. Our mental health screenings since 2013 have identified that about 22.3% of all students were depressed, anxious or at-risk for suicide.
But there is hope!
Many studies have shown the effectiveness of early intervention in mental health and the role it plays in recovery. The National Alliance on Mental Illness states that individuals who went through programs were more responsive to treatment and more likely to achieve social, educational and career success.
Take a look at the mental health screening TeenHope uses in middle and high schools, as well as the resources provided to at-risk teenagers and their parents.
Need help now?
If you’re uncomfortable talking about depression, anxiety or thoughts of suicide with family or friends, call 1-800-273-TALK to speak in confidence with someone who can understand and help you deal with your feelings. Or you can use the crisis text line by texting PA to 741741.
You can also set up an appointment with a professional counselor. The local organizations we recommend are:
- Conestoga Valley
- Eastern Lebanon
- Lampeter Strasburg
- Lancaster Mennonite
- Manheim Central
- Manheim Township
- Penn Manor
- Pequea Valley
- Stone Independent
- The New School of Lancaster
Testimonials & Stories
“TeenHope has been very helpful for us as counselors and administrators as we relate with students. The screenings have allowed us to have more open dialogue about mental health and we have valued the TeenHope program which has made such a positive impact on our entire school community.”
Kirk Benner, Director of School Counseling at Lancaster Mennonite School
While meeting with our staff, a student reported that she had a plan to end her life. This student was reluctant to verbally share what her plan was, however, she felt comfortable enough to be honest, which ultimately led to our staff connecting her with guidance at her school, reaching out to her parents, and helping to get her into therapy immediately. She had never confided in anyone with what she was dealing with, and because of the TeenHope screening, she found the courage to be honest and share that she was struggling, no longer having to manage these thoughts on her own.
A student scheduled her first counseling appointment as a result of her TeenHope screening. Her mother was very concerned that the screening revealed her daughter was cutting, feeling depressed and had thoughts of suicide. Her grades had been slipping and she was struggling with finding a positive peer group at school. She attended counseling sessions over the course of two years and learned to reduce feelings of anxiety and depression while also learning to identify healthy relationships and address blended family issues. As a result, her grades not only improved, but she enrolled in honor level courses and began excelling in art classes. At the end of counseling she was able to identify and apply strategies of resiliency.