Refuel Investee Spotlight – Teen Lifeline

Aug 22, 2022

Meet Our Refuel Investee, Teen Lifeline! 

This organization focuses on supporting the mental health of Arizona’s youth as the only teen-to-teen crisis hotline in the state. For over 35 years, Teen Lifeline has activated suicide awareness and prevention programs and has been a crucial connection to hope for struggling teens. In combination with comprehensive prevention training for school staff and adults, the organization is actively meeting the needs of the Arizona community. 

As a Refuel Investee, Teen Lifeline has an extensive history with SVPAZ. Refuel Investees are chosen from previous full-time Investees that have received the full support and capacity-building efforts from SVPAZ in the past. Teen Lifeline’s initial investment took place in 2001 at a pivotal point in the organization’s journey. During the initial investment, SVPAZ helped recruit and optimize the organization’s board as it had just spun off from a larger mental health organization to be an independent 501(c)3 organization. At the time, the SVPAZ team and Partners assisted Teen Lifeline by developing long-term contingency plans for organizing funding, state-wide growth, and maintaining momentum. Since then, the organization has grown exponentially.

In 2021, the Teen Lifeline community raised over $1 million for the programs and operations behind their suicide prevention work. With each passing year, their crisis hotline garners more awareness with over 42,000 calls/texts in 2021 alone. With the rapid growth of the organization, the need for accurate representation and metrics of the impact made by its various programs has become essential. In the fall of 2021, Teen Lifeline applied and was chosen for their Refuel Year. The objective behind the investment was to provide data collection advisement and assistance with the creation of survey studies. 

 

In collaboration with SVPAZ’s network of Partners (professionals with a passion for philanthropy), Teen Lifeline has spent the past year working toward an effective new survey system and more accurate metrics for preventative action.
While reflecting on their progress, Teen Lifeline’s Executive Director Michelle Moorhead stated, “Over the past years, Teen Lifeline has deeply explored our metrics, specifically around our community education and prevention services. We also created new goal statements for each line of service to help identify key performance indicators. We created an evaluation matrix that denotes each of our service metrics, the type of data collected, and how to access it in a collaborative document for all staff to view and edit.”

In addition, the Refuel investment has allowed Teen Lifeline to participate in SVPAZ’s workshops and synergic events. The workshops provide an opportunity for Investees to present their current challenges to SVPAZ’s network of Partners in order to collaborate and form connections to find effective solutions for their crises. Teen Lifeline most recently participated in the SVPAZ Storytelling Workshop at which story strategist and keynote speaker Park Howell presented the power of imaginative framing. The organization’s marketing team was left with authentic ways to communicate and connect with their audience through storytelling.

In response to the event, Teen Lifeline’s Communications Specialist Elizabeth Hansen shared, 
“As someone with a personal background in creative writing and marketing, I was impressed with the storytelling workshop Social Venture Partners hosted. Teen Lifeline is all about creating a sense of connection, and that’s exactly what the workshop focused on. The group SVP brought together was a room full of caring, insightful professionals. I left the session with plenty of inspiration and a sense of connection with my fellow nonprofit change-makers. Park Howell adjusted to the experience level of participants, so discussions felt more meaningful than introductory courses would without being inaccessible for anyone.”

Teen Lifeline’s refuel year is coming to a close, but the impact achieved through the collaboration of the organization and SVPAZ’s team and Partners is sure to last. To learn more about our Refuel Investee, Teen Lifeline,  check out their website and follow their journey on all social media channels.

With fall just around the corner and Teen Lifeline’s refuel year ending, the selection for a new Refuel Investee is coming up quickly. SVPAZ kindly invites all past Investees to apply for their own refuel year to take advantage of our leadership support, a one-time grant, and access to the expertise of our Partnership for a full year. To apply, please email our Director of Investee Relations, Michaela Wuycheck at mwuycheck@svpaz.org