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Teachable Moments

What is a teachable moment? It's learning through family. That's what Boys Town provides to tens of thousands of children and parents everyday. And that's what we'll focus on here. Stories of those who we've seen succeed, and ideas on how to help bring Teachable Moments to your home and family, too.

A Desperate Call for Help is Answered
Home » Boys Town » A Desperate Call for Help is Answered

by Elizabeth, caller of The Boys Town National Hotline​

tags: Healing Families, Kids and Teens in Crisis, Self-Injury, Understanding Behavior, Youth Stories

A Desperate Call for Help is Answered

The following is an actual letter from a young woman who was engaging in self-harm.

I want to thank you for all you have done for me. I remember learning of the Your Life Your Voice website when I was around eighteen, and I used it often between the ages of eighteen and twenty.

I have struggled with self-harm for about four and a half years. I remember at my lowest points I was self-harming badly multiple times a day, and I’ve had suicide attempts.

I started using the website for the online chats. I would speak with someone through chat who would listen to me and help me come up with some coping mechanisms I could try for the night. 

I remember one chat in particular where I was self-harming while I was chatting and I knew I shouldn’t, so I asked if they could call me on the phone. I gave them my number and they talked with me on the phone while I cried. They calmed me down and reassured me that what I was going through was a lot.

They helped me come up with a few things I could try. At the time, coping mechanisms to me were small things I could try to help me not self-harm for five, ten, thirty minutes or so, but those minutes I spent doing something else were crucial in my beginning steps towards recovery.

I wish I remembered the name of the person I spoke with on the phone, but it made a difference that night. I felt cared for and I felt like someone wanted to help me.

I mainly used the chats but after the experience on the phone, I realized that because of my own struggle the phone was probably the best and safest option for me because when I was on the phone I couldn’t focus on self-harming at the same time. 

Currently, I am about three to four months free from self-harm. I am graduating next month with a bachelor’s of social work and am continuing on in an advanced standing yearlong masters of social work with a minor in drug and alcohol counseling. I am currently finishing up my internship at the public defender office where I assist clients charged with crimes.

I couldn’t have done all this without the help of many people, and this includes Your Life Your Voice and the Boys Town National Hotline. I know how much these websites have helped me, and I know they have helped countless of other people in whatever they are going through.

Thank you for all you have done for me and continue to do for so many!

–      Elizabeth

For more than 25 years, the Boys Town National Hotline ® and its extended services, including Your Life, Your Voice, have been answering the calls of children and parents who need immediate, professional and compassionate guidance and support.

Thanks to generous donors like you, Boys Town provides hope for every child and healing for every family. Donate today to save more kids like Elizabeth.