Friends of Lines:

As the end of the year approaches and we wrap up the hustle and bustle of getting ready for our personal and familial holiday celebrations, I am most grateful for the individuals who have continued to support Lines and work directly with individuals who are struggling with depression and/or anxiety.

The majority of these individuals are teens themselves who are barely old enough to take their driver’s license test. And yet, they have so bravely and courageously immersed themselves in education about what depression is all about, why so many of their peers are struggling right now, and what resources are available right now that can provide help and support.

This is not an easy thing to do. I remember when I was in high school, and a friend of mine was struggling with the fact that his mother was dying of cancer. I didn’t know what to say, what kind of help existed, or how to help him in any way. I don’t think that he necessarily expected me to help; it just didn’t work that way all those years ago. When his mother did pass, I remember struggling myself, unable to find the words and the support that he needed from me.

Today’s teens–they’re a lot different than we were in the 80s. They are spending important time with others in their community who need support, who need a line of love to get them through. They are finding the courage to learn what to say to friends, and they are being aggressive with teachers, counselors, and administrators, holding them accountable for providing the necessary support their friends need.

So, to all of the teens who are doing their part to reach out and offer support, I thank you. The work you are doing is incredibly important to so many, and you are making a difference in ways you will never fully grasp.

Whether it is planning a walk to support suicide prevention, organizing bake sales to raise money for events with Grassroots Crisis Intervention Center, or just spreading love and encouragement to everyone you come in contact with, please know that your efforts are both appreciated and life-changing.

On behalf of Lines of Love, Thank You. Words cannot express how grateful I am for all you continue to do to support our teens and young adults in need. May you serve as models to all of us in the coming years, and well beyond.

<3, Rus VW

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