HOTLINES & RESOURCES - Don't wait to ask for help!
Trevor Support Center
Crisis intervention and suicide prevention for LGBTQ and questioning youth, available 24/7/365
Text the word “START” to 678-678 or call 1-866-488-7386
Crisis Text Line
Offers free, 24/7 emotional support for those in crisis
Text SUPPORT to 741-741 or http://www.crisistextline.org/
Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline
Helps those impacted by child abuse by providing 24/7 confidential crisis counselor support in over 170 languages
Crisis intervention, information and referrals to thousands of support services
Call:1-800-422-4453 or https://www.childhelp.org/hotline/
National Runaway Safeline
24-hour support for teens thinking of running away from home, for those who have runaway or for friends of someone who has runaway and is looking for help
Call 1-800-RUNAWAY or http://www.1800runaway.org/
National Sexual Assault Hotline
Trained professionals helping those impacted by sexual violence nationwide
Call: 1-800-656-HOPE or https://www.rainn.org/get-help/national-sexual-assault-hotline
National Domestic Violence Hotline
24/7 free, confidential support from highly trained experienced advocates offering support, crisis intervention information,
and referral services
Call 1-800-799-7233 or http://www.thehotline.org/help/
National Alliance on Mental Illness
National Eating Disorders Association
Support for individuals and families affected by eating disorders
Call 1-800-931-2237 or http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/find-help-support
College Guides for LGBTQ Students
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
A 24-hour, toll-free, confidential suicide prevention hotline for anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress
Call: 1-800-273-TALK(8255) or http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/
Runs over 700 health centers and provides info on health, sex, and family planning
Answers to teens' sexual health questions: http://www.plannedparenthood.org/teens
Chat online with a health educator: http://www.plannedparenthood.org/all-access/chat
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
Provides help for those facing prescription drug misuse and abuse with intervention, prevention, treatment, and recovery support services
Call: (800) 662-HELP or (800) 662-4357 for info on prevention and treatment referrals
While substance abuse is dangerous for someone of any age, it is particularly risky for teens, whose bodies and minds have not yet developed. There are many health effects of teen substance abuse, most of which are negative.
Disaster Distress Helpline
A national hotline with trained crisis counselors who provide year-round immediate counseling for those experiencing emotional
distress related to any natural or human-caused disaster (fire, earthquake, tornado, etc.)
1-800-985-5990 - Text TalkWithUs to 66746 or http://www.samhsa.gov/find-help/disaster-distress-helpline
The Bully Project
It’s easy to feel powerless or alone when faced with bullying. You can find there a lot of great tools and advice and help http://www.thebullyproject.com/tools_students
Sunshine Behavioral Health
Guide for dealing with Cyber Bullying:
- Hotlines For Help
- Cyber Bullying information
- Advice for Parents on Cyber Bullying
- Cyber Bullying and Mental Health
CHC - Teen Therapy Services
Accessible. Affordable. Compassionate.
- Free 30-minute consultation
- Teen DBT skills groups
- Financial assistance available
Teen therapy is critical in helping young people work through at-risk or clinical mental health issues that impact adolescents during a vulnerable time in their lives. It’s an opportunity to process emotional experiences, build strategies to cope with mental health challenges and with life, and to fully develop into the thriving adults they were born to be.
Dr. Vidya Krishnan and Dr. Ramsey Khasho lead a strong team of CHC therapists standing ready to support teens with anxiety and depression and provide specialized services to families. Chief Clinical Officer Dr. Khasho says, “I have no doubt that teen therapy has saved many lives and has allowed young people to prosper with resilience and grit in the face of some of the most adverse psychological experiences.”
Some Supporting Communities if you're 20 or older
Feeling Kinda Blue https://feelingkindablue.org/
Feelingkindablue.org is a social networking site established to serve those living with depression, anxiety, grief, emotional pain, and other mental illnesses. The mission is to reduce social isolation by making connections through experience sharing. Originally founded in St Louis, Missouri, members are able to share their everyday experiences, on good days and on bad. Members chat, create blogs, join groups, share artwork, music, and photos or sometimes they just observe. It's about connecting!
Trevor Space https://www.trevorspace.org
TrevorSpace is a social networking site for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning (LGBTQ) youth under 25 and their friends and allies. This is under the umbrella of The Trevor Project.
What does Give Us The Floor do?
Give Us The Floor (GUTF) is a San Francisco-based non-profit organization. We help teens deal with distress through unique, peer support groups that leverage social media to provide constant contact and anonymity in a teen-only community. Trained teens facilitate these confidential, teen-only, Supportive Group Chats and members help each other with common mental health and social issues such as depression, isolation, anxiety, body image, bullying and relationships.
Check our YouTube channel and our Instagram profile.
"It’s all controlled by us, all by the teenagers, all by the youth. And the adults are there, there are adults, but they are just over watching us; but we are the ones that actually control what we want to be done" ~ Paul, 18, California
How do I earn Community Service hours?
Supportive Group Chat facilitators earn community service hours for the time spent moderating group chats.
What kind of youth struggles does Give Us The Floor address?
- Academic Pressure
- Anxiety About the Future
- Body Image
- Death / Anxiety about death
- Eating Disorders
- Gun violence / Mass shootings
- Identity, Gender
- Invasion of privacy by family members or other adults
- Issues with Family
- Life adversity
- Loneliness / Isolation
- Pressure (family, peers, society)
- Relationships (Love, friends, family)
- Self-Love / Self-Esteem
- Abuse (sexual, physical, verbal, emotional)
- Substance Abuse
- Others (it’s a “By Teen - For Teen” community and we are open to any topic you would like to address)
SUPPORTIVE GROUP CHATS
What is a Supportive Group Chat?
Supportive group chats are safe adult-free spaces where teens vent, share their day-to-day difficulties, insight, shame, and pride. One or two of the teens in each group are trained as facilitators and help keep the group safe and foster conversation. Supportive group chats are a place where you might receive help one day and help others another day. Teens in these groups have a strong sense of not feeling alone. Participants are from all over the US.
The Community Rules are strictly enforced.
The Supportive Group Chats are on Snapchat and will soon be on an app that you download to your phone or device. This app will be safe and will protect your personal information.
How do I Join a Supportive Group Chat?
By registering HERE. We’ll get you in a group as soon as possible! To speed up the process, please friend us on Snapchat @gutfgroups.
Do all the Supportive Group Chats talk about the same things?
Yes. When you sign up, you will let us know what topic you prefer to focus on. This doesn't mean your group talks only about that topic. The groups mainly discuss the day-to-day difficulties and accomplishments that the participants experience.
The options that are offered to you are
- Mental Health
- Life Challenges
Requirements to join a Supportive Group Chat
- Only ages 13-19 are eligible to join
- You must have a valid US cell number
What is the commitment when joining a Supportive Group Chat?
None! There is no commitment in joining a Supportive Group Chat. You participate whenever you want and you can quit whenever you want. Nobody will resent you for leaving, however, it is considerate for you to notify the adult team at GUTF so that we can give your spot to another participant. However, we do not allow people to lurk. If you’re shown as inactive for more than 1 month, you’ll be removed to make space for other teens who wish to join. If you are being removed but you want to join again, you are welcome to message us and we will add you back to your group or another one if you wish!
What is the process when I register?
1st step: you first need to sign-up HERE
2nd step: A text will be sent to you to verify your cell phone number
3rd step: Add GUTFgroups back in Snapchat
Once your cell phone is confirmed, the team will be actively searching for a group that is a good fit for you: participants are matched by focus, age and geographic diversity.
Please be patient! The team is doing its best to onboard everybody as fast as possible! Sometimes we have a lot of signups and do not have enough trained facilitators, so the process takes longer than everybody would like. The wait is very rarely longer than 2 weeks.
I registered, but haven’t heard from anyone at GUTF, what do I do?
The team tries its hardest to onboard new members as soon as possible but sometimes, we have so much demand that it can take up to 10 days for us to reach out to you. If you're concerned something went wrong, please email us at email@example.com and we’ll get back to you quickly. Please do not hesitate to reach out!
BEING A MEMBER OF A SUPPORTIVE GROUP CHAT
How will I benefit by belonging to the Give Us The Floor community?
Reasons to Get Involved
- You’ll belong to a community of like-minded peers
- You won’t feel alone anymore
- You’ll feel that you have people who have your back
- You’ll be able to express yourself freely, without being judged
- You can make a difference in the lives of other teens
- You can earn community service hours if you decide to become a facilitator. Learn more Here
Can anyone join the community?
Yes! But you must be between the ages of 13-19, have a US cell phone and agree to abide by the community rules.
Do I have to live in a specific geographical area to join?
Our services are limited to teens living in the United States.
I want to join, but I feel nervous about joining a community with no one I know?
No worries! It’s totally normal to feel that way! Most of the people you will meet online were also nervous on their first day. One of the things our teen participants really value about Give Us The Floor is the anonymity. It helps to be able to share your struggles with people you don’t know in real life and won’t run into the next day.
If you’re still having anxiety about joining, please, email firstname.lastname@example.org to speak with one of our Adult Advisors about any concerns or questions you may have.
Once you're a member of a supportive group, the Adult Advisor team will be available for you if you feel awkward or not at ease in your group. Please do not hesitate to reach out! Email email@example.com or DM in the app
Remember, GUTF is a very supportive community of teens who all respect our community rules. Members who are not aligned with our mission or who don’t abide by the community rules will be removed from Give Us The Floor.
BEING A FACILITATOR OF A SUPPORTIVE GROUP CHAT
What is the role of a facilitator?
The role of a facilitator is to support and encourage genuine conversation, to uphold the comfort and safety guidelines within the group, and to be a liaison between the GUTF adult team and the supportive group chat.
- Training to become a facilitator allows you to acquire communication and leadership skills that you will use your whole life.
- The volunteer position is a great addition to resumes and college applications.
- Each Facilitator earns up to 5 hrs of community service per month, provided all the duties listed below are fulfilled. The very active ones can even earn additional hours.
- A role of Senior Facilitator may be offered to the most engaged facilitators.
How do I apply to be a Supportive Group Chat facilitator?
You first need to spend a minimum of 2 weeks as an engaged and respectful participant in your group. After 2 weeks, you will be asked if you’re interested in being trained to become a facilitator. If yes, we’ll guide you through the steps. Remember, If you prefer to stay a participant, it is completely up to you! We want you to do what is best for you. If you do not receive the message, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
What will happen once I have applied and what does the training look like?
The following steps will be
1- You and one of your guardians need to sign an agreement online.
2- Online training: 10 Training video modules that you can watch at your own pace. You will be required to answer a mini-quiz at the end of each module and a longer quiz at the end. The training must be completed within 2 weeks and you need to pass the Final Quiz with 100% (You can take it as often as needed), in order to get to the next step.
The training will give you the tools you need to effectively facilitate a supportive group chat, including:
- How to navigate difficult conversations
- How to enforce Give Us The Floor's Community Rules
- How to spot a teen in crisis
- Tips for understanding your own leadership abilities
- Tips for self-care
3-The next step will be for you to participate in a “mock chat” group for two weeks: Mock chats groups are replicas of supportive group chats with other facilitators in training and at least one Adult Advisor. The goal of the mock chat is for you to apply what you learned in the training to real-life scenarios: you will practice different scenarios that can occur when you will be a facilitator. It will help you become more comfortable in your role as a facilitator.
4- You will have a video meeting with one Adult Advisor who will determine if you are ready to facilitate or co-facilitate a group or if you need to perfect your training.
What are the perks in becoming a facilitator?
- up to 5 hrs of community service per month, provided all duties are fulfilled.
- Master communication and leadership skills that you will use your whole life.
- The volunteer position is a great addition to resumes and college applications.
- Making a difference in the lives of your peers!
- 2 additional community service hours + a stipend of $45 per month if you graduate to the role of a Senior Facilitator
What are the commitments of a facilitator?
- Commit to 8 weeks minimum to facilitate a group
- Facilitate the chat a minimum of 6 days/week
- Fill out the monthly surveys that are sent to you
- Fill out the surveys you receive after being a facilitator for 1, 3, 6, and 12 months
- Respond to the adult team within 24 hours unless you previously notified them you would be on a break
- Report any inappropriate behavior within 3 hours of you seeing it
- Report any members who have left the group within 48 hours
- If unable to facilitate the chat and need a break, it is required to notify the adult advisor team at least 2 weeks ahead. The community service hours will be adjusted prorate to your time off. It can’t be more than 2 weeks in a row every 6 months.
- If you'd like to stop facilitating a group, a minimum of 2-week notice is required
I would love to help peers but I'm a bit afraid that I might not know how to act if something sensitive arises in my group
Do not worry! You will be trained to deal with these exact kinds of issues. And any time something sensitive arises, you are required to share it with the Adult Advisor team so you're not alone to deal with it and they can take it over if the situation can potentially be harmful to a participant! They are there for you.
What is the role of a Senior Facilitator?
A Senior Facilitator is a facilitator who helps out in supportive group chats as additional support. Senior facilitators must go through facilitator training and show they are active and responsible facilitators in order to be eligible to be a Senior Facilitator. A Senior Facilitator earns 2 additional hours of community service and a stipend of $45 per month.
How do I become a Senior Facilitator?
A Facilitator can become a Senior Facilitator after being an active and responsible facilitator, abide by all the commitments of a facilitator for a minimum of 3 months. The decision is at the discretion of the Adult Advisor team.
Because GUTF is located in the State of California and serves a population of adolescents domestically any incident, regardless of location, must be reported to California CPS and/or California local law enforcement.
We care about the safety of our teen members at Give Us The Floor. It’s our priority to support you in staying safe and healthy and to do so in the least invasive way possible. We don’t want to intrude into your life, but in rare circumstances, we may need to take certain actions to ensure your safety and remain compliant with the law. In EXTREMELY rare cases, this means we may contact law enforcement, state authorities, or emergency services if your messages indicate that you are at imminent risk of death or serious injury (e.g., if you have suicidal desires, a plan, access to means, and an imminent timeline), or if we reasonably believe that disclosure is necessary to prevent a person’s death or serious injury. At that point, a trained member of our team might ask you for some personally identifiable information (such as where you are or what your name is). We understand that this can may feel disruptive, and it won’t happen unless we think it’s absolutely necessary. We’ll try to work with you to come up with a safety plan before calling emergency services, if doing so would not increase the imminent risk. We’re not here to tell on you -- we’re here to do our best to support you and others in staying healthy and safe. We may attempt to locate you, but it may not always be possible.
If the content of your messages leads us to reasonably suspect that you are a victim of emotional/physical abuse or neglect and you are 17 years old or younger or a vulnerable dependent adult, we may ask you to verify certain Personally Identifiable Information (such as your date of birth, name, and address) to help us file any required report with an appropriate state authority. You are of course not required to share this information with us.
How do we ensure that Give Us The Floor is a safe place?
- Community Rules are strictly enforced and Give Us The Floor has zero tolerance for disrespect, racism, homophobia, or threats.
- Each member is encouraged to contact the Adult Advisor without waiting if something does not feel right or if a member does not respect the rules.
- We ask every participant to not share any personal information and to remove geolocation
- One of the rules is to not have 1:1 contact.
- We moderate comments on all our Social Media profiles with zero tolerance for disrespect and lack of tolerance
If you have any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to reach out to the adult supportive group team at email@example.com. We are happy to provide you with any additional information!
Why is Give Us The Floor's mission critical?
Can adults, counselors or teachers get involved?
Yes! We’re always happy to have help from adults who are supportive of teens and believe in giving teens the floor to express themselves. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll get back to you very quickly!
How can I contact the team?
If you’d like to contact the supportive group chat team: Snapchat @giveusthefloor or email@example.com
If you’d like to contact an adult team member: firstname.lastname@example.org or go to the contact page
What are GUTF’s Community rules? Check here
What are GUTF’s Terms of Service? Check here
What are the GUTF Contest rules? Check here