Teen Lifeline seeing increase in calls in Arizona during virus pandemic

Aug 5, 2020, 4:35 AM

(Pexels Photo)...

(Pexels Photo)

(Pexels Photo)

PHOENIX — Among the most vulnerable are young people with mental health challenges. Before the pandemic, rates of mental illness had been steadily increasing. As the coronavirus pandemic has unfolded, service requests for help with mental health have steadily increased in Arizona.

Despite calls for help typically tricking down during summer months, this year was much different.

Teen Lifeline reports a 6% increase in calls and texts in the month of June.

“We can definitely connect that back to the stress and anxiety related to having to stay at home,” Nikki Kontz, Teen Lifeline’s clinical director, told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Tuesday.

Dedicated to offering immediate help, the Phoenix-based nonprofit has seen an increase in all of their major helpline categories including:

    • A 3-5% increase in calls and texts related to suicide
    • 11% increase in concerns with family problems
    • Calls and texts nearly doubled regarding teens struggles with LGBTQ issues
    • Increased reports of abuse in the home

“The biggest areas, though, we see are depression and anxiety,” Kontz added. “Where they just really are struggling with that disconnection from the outside world and not feeling understood at home.”

Kontz doesn’t blame parents for teens’ feelings during the pandemic after being stuck at home for the past six months, but she believes parents should be talking to their kids about how they feel and what they want.

“They’re scared about what the future holds and right now we are seeing an increase related to anxiety about the next school year,” Kontz said.

Teen Lifeline’s hotline is available for parents as well, not just teens. The hotline is available 24/7, seven days a week. Teen peer consolers take calls from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. every day. The hotline number is 602-248-8336. Texting is available at the same number every day from noon to 9 p.m. every day.

Hours have been extended on the hotline and texting until all students are said to be back in school throughout Arizona.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

Brunson Lee elementary school district sign...

Police investigating shooting near elementary school in east Phoenix

Police were investigating a shooting near an elementary school in Phoenix Thursday morning, authorities said. 

10 minutes ago

Chandler innovation fair 2024 East Valley...

Serena O'Sullivan

Chandler Innovation Fair to celebrate innovation with hundreds of hands-on science exhibits

The yearly Chandler Innovation Fair, which celebrates innovators and scientists of all ages in the East Valley, will return on Saturday.

2 hours ago

One Handsome Bastard photo...

Serena O'Sullivan

Old Town Scottsdale’s 1st microdistillery opens in former Blue Clover Distillery space

The space previously occupied by Blue Clover Distillery is now known as One Handsome Bastard. The name honors the late Brad Ritchie.

2 hours ago

gavel photo threatening federal...

Serena O'Sullivan

Arizona man sentenced to over 7 years for trying to traffic methamphetamine

A federal judge in Arizona sentenced a Tucson man to over seven years in prison for drug trafficking, officials announced on Wednesday.

3 hours ago

The Arizona National Guard wants help in creating its new design for its specialty license plate. (...

Arizona National Guard holding contest to design license plate

The Arizona National Guard has opened a contest to let the public design its specialty license plate.

3 hours ago

Follow @Ali_Vetnar...

Sponsored Content by Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinics: transforming health care in the valley

Midwestern University, long a fixture of comprehensive health care education in the West Valley, is also a recognized leader in community health care.

Sponsored Articles


Collins Comfort Masters

Avoid a potential emergency and get your home’s heating and furnace safety checked

With the weather getting colder throughout the Valley, the best time to make sure your heating is all up to date is now. 


Sanderson Ford

The best ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day and give back to the community

Veterans Day is fast approaching and there's no better way to support our veterans than to donate to the Military Assistance Mission.


Canvas Annuity

Interest rates may have peaked. Should you buy a CD, high-yield savings account, or a fixed annuity?

Interest rates are the highest they’ve been in decades, and it looks like the Fed has paused hikes. This may be the best time to lock in rates for long-term, low-risk financial products like fixed annuities.

Teen Lifeline seeing increase in calls in Arizona during virus pandemic