Frequently Asked Questions
LifeSavers is a peer-support suicide and crisis-prevention program designed to help teenagers cope healthfully with the challenges of drugs and alcohol, peer and family relationships, sexual issues, academic problems, aggression, anxiety, and suicide. LifeSavers is a recognized student organization in 27 high schools in southern Illinois which have chosen to be pro-active in caring for their student population.
LifeSavers trains selected students from 9th through 12th grades to be skilled listeners who can responsibly help other students deal with the emotional and situational crises of adolescence.
Students are not trained to be peer counselors but to be listeners. Counseling is done by trained professionals. Adolescents will more often turn to one of their peers for help before they ask an adult. By listening, a LifeSaver can assist others in working out personal and emotional problems before they become life-risking. By listening with care, a LifeSaver can provide direction toward professional help when needed.
Both adolescent LifeSavers trainees and adult LifeSavers Advisors should be emotionally mature and be good communicators. They should have an interest in helping others and should have taken a leadership role in reaching out to other students.
- education about dysfunctional youth
- listening skills
- self-esteem development skills
- positive peer relationships
- coping skills
- leadership techniques
- group participation skills
- decision-making skills
- sharing with and feeling concern for others
- breaking communication barriers
- knowing one’s own limits & when to refer to a professional.
The keys to LifeSavers training are deep listening skills and mutual respect. These caring teenagers, our LifeSavers, develop their capabilities to listen carefully to their peers, make healthy decisions, cope with stress, promote loving communication with their families and others, and enhance their own self-esteem in order to live happier, healthier, and more productive and satisfying lives. The training weekend is a deeply moving and potentially life-changing experience for students and adult facilitators. Mature friendships are made, and broken ones are mended. Barriers of differences in age, gender, ethnicity, economic status, roles, and interests, all crumble as students learn how much they share of pain, dreams, confusion, fears, love, and fun!
And the growth and commitment continue through the school year in monthly meetings at which LifeSavers organize activities to enhance their school and their peers and to share their concerns within a responsible and supportive group.
The LifeSavers Training Corporation provides the services of certified trainers and a copyrighted three-day training program which has been researched and proven effective over the past 18 years. While LSTC conducts the initial training, the program materials are designed so that local Advisors may ultimately conduct their own Training Retreats with continued support from LifeSavers Training Corp. (LSTC is a not-for-profit corporation.)