Teen Life Counts (TLC) Reaches Thousands of Students Annually

Melissa Stewart, LMSW
Teen Life Counts (TLC) Program Coordinator

Hello there! My name is Melissa Stewart and I am a licensed master social worker. I took on the position of Program Coordinator for Teen Life Counts (TLC) last February.

Since TLC is funded by grants and generous donors, JFS has been able to provide the program at no cost to local schools for more than thirty years. We are currently making a difference in 40 area private, parochial, charter, and public schools. The TLC program is taught to teenagers in grades 7-12, by committed Volunteer Educators who have been trained to deliver the specialized curriculum.  In addition to teaching teenagers about suicide prevention, we offer a presentation for faculty and staff, plus one for parents. These services are also free.

Teen suicide is a serious and relevant topic in the United States. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among Americans ages 15-24, which is why we are so committed to these prevention efforts.  TLC focuses on providing education for teens on topics including:

·         statistics on teen suicide

·         reducing stigma surrounding mental illness

·         recognizing the warning signs of suicide in their peers

·         equipping students to have difficult and potentially life-saving conversations with a friend who is exhibiting warning signs

This is just a portion of the TLC curriculum. CLICK HERE to learn more about the program.

JFS is continuing our partnership with Tulane School of Social Work (TSSW). Several of our TLC Volunteer Educators are currently in the master’s program at Tulane. We are also in the planning stages of collaborating with TSSW on a community mental health outreach event. Stay tuned for more information!

In other news, we are excited to announce that TLC and Ellie Wainer, former long-time program coordinator, will be honored at the 2017 Rhythm and Soul Gala on May 21st.  It will be wonderful night of music and great food. CLICK HERE for Rhythm & Soul event details and tickets.

I look forward to continuing TLC’s long-standing relationships with area schools and developing relationships with new schools. I have enjoyed getting to know the amazing TLC volunteers and am excited to recruit and train additional volunteers.

You do not need a mental health background to volunteer, just a willingness to learn and a desire to help prevent teen suicide. CLICK HERE if you would like to become a Volunteer Educator, or make a donation.  CLICK HERE if you are interested in bringing Teen Life Counts to your school.

Feel free to contact me directly at 504-831-8475, ext. 124 / melissa@jfsneworleans.org