Teen Line offers youth solace in tough times

Youth day is time for us to take a step back and to celebrate our upcoming generation. Being a teenager is not becoming any easier these days. Besides the natural turbulence that goes hand in hand with being an adolescent, the challenges and pressures faced by our teens seem to escalate year by year.

One of the sad things in a world so busy with its own needs and worries is that teens often feel isolated and that there is no one or nowhere to turn to in times of stress or crisis. More and more of our youngsters are therefore turning to drugs, alcohol and other damaging behaviour in search of some release or relief. Drug and alcohol abuse is an increasing and worrying threat to our society and is causing major concern for community leaders, teachers and parents because substance abuse not only affects the person involved, but all their loved ones as well.

“In today’s society, teenagers are faced with more peer pressure and stress than ever before and the important message we want to send using our Teen Line service is that teenagers do not need to feel alone, says Fedhealth Principal Officer, Peter Jordan. Teen Line is a 24 hour service provided by this medical scheme and caters specially for the concerns of young people and offers advice and counselling to teenage members on any physical, emotional and sexual questions and/or problems they may be experiencing.

The Teen Line service is run by a team of professional experts and nurses who are trained to address such issues in a sensitive manner. “We speak to the teens in their home language and advice is given with respect and confidentially,” says Jordan.

Being able to talk to someone is a big part of healing. Often it just takes a sympathetic ear or a little guidance to prevent another young life falling through the cracks. “Teens are a lot stronger than they or we may think. They often just need to be given some coping tools and techniques to get them through a problem situation,” Jordan says and urges young people to use the recourses that are there for them to get the support and help they need.

(The 24 hour Teen Line service is reserved for Fedhealth members only and details can be found on the Fedhealth website on www.fedhealth.co.za)

Peter Jordan