Your Voice 

Read stories from real people who have been helped by YLYV and the Boys Town National Hotline.

Leah's Story

Leah's Voice has been turned into an animation, submit your story.

I want to thank you for the advice and hope you instilled in me. I no longer feel like I have to constantly watch my back at school, I am more confident in myself and my voice. And I also have a newfound respect for the school officials in my school. Yesterday, I finally found enough courage and faith to tackle the issue with the girls who pick on me at school head on - and I am so glad that I did.

The main girl who picks on me made fun of the clothes I wear for the last time yesterday. I went straight to the guidance counselor and poured my heart out to her. She is the nicest, sweetest woman ever. She was very patient and understanding, and didn't mind that I was crying all over her carpet. She wrote down all of the information concerning my dilema and took it straight to the principle and vice principle who quickly took charge of the situation. They were all so nice and…protective! I can't get over how safe they made me feel. They pulled the girl who has bullied me right out of class and addressed the situation with her straightforward. She was completely taken off guard. After the interrogation was over and she was threatened with suspension for harrassment, the girl even opted to apologize to me - which i agreed to listen to, though it was completely unsympathetic and phony. The principle told me that he would get her moved as far away from me as possible in class and that she would be held accountable for her actions, and he said that if she ever tried to do anything to me again I need to come straight to him or the counselor asap. He was true to his word: today at school the girl was moved from my classes. She never said one word to me.

My counselor told me that sometimes things have to get difficult before they can get better, and that is so true.

Once all was said and done, I felt like a whole new girl. I could not thank the counselor or principle enough. And I am so thankful to you for listening to my story unjudgmentally and offering me words of hope. My parents, friends, and boyfried have stood by my side through this difficult time, I no longer feel alone or powerless. All it takes is to stand up for yourself and what is right - I know that now.

Thank you so much! What you guys do does make a difference and has touched my heart. A million thanks again.

Roberts's Story

I just read some of the stories you young people have shared. Let me tell you a little about some of my experiences. I was a good basketball player, good grades, well liked in community but at the age of 15 was introduced to drugs & alcohol. I guess I went over the edge with it-- nothing or nobody mattered. I had to leave my hometown because people didn't want their kids hanging with me.

All you guys it's not worth hurting yourself. Today I'm clean & sober. Life is still not bed of roses and never will be. I can't walk very well but I thank God every day. So think about long term effects before you do something STUPID. Thanks for the opportunity to express my views …love yourself even if you think no one else does. God bless you all.

Eric's Story

Eric's Voice has been turned into an animation, submit your story.

I cannot tell you what your email meant to me…

I know it has taken me a long time to respond, but that was simply out of panic. When I sent that email that night, I never thought I would get a response, let alone such a heartfelt and meaningful one. I've read your email hundreds of times since you sent it, and I cannot believe how much it means to me. I just want to tell you how grateful I am and that people like you, those who are willing to listen no matter what is happening in someone's life, those are the people that I have faith in. They are the reason why I keep trying, why no matter what I do I keep going on, why I keep holding that last little bit of faith that I have left. I am greatly sorry if I've caused you to worry due to my lack of response…I simply didn't know what to say or how to say it. How can you thank someone for giving you hope? I try to be as eloquent as possible, but for me, there's almost no words for something like that.

Well, before I finish this response out, I better update you as to how I'm doing. It's been a few weeks since I sent you that email, and things seem to be getting better. My dad is talking to me a little more, my sister is trying to be a decent person, and as for my mom, well, she's doing okay. But the thing is, I'm fine with okay. 'Okay' is a vast improvement from before. After I sent the email to you guys, and I got a response, I realized that if I wanted to change things, the only was I was going to do it was with hard work. So I sat her and my dad down and showed them the email. I made sure they read the entire thing. I didn't know what was going to happen, but I didn't expect what did: my mom started crying. In fact, both of them started crying. I was so shocked I didn't know what to say. And though I know that this doesn't seem like much to an outside person, it meant a lot to me. And ever since then, things have slowly been getting better. Now I know that things won't get better overnight, but I also know that this is a sign that some change is coming, and that I am grateful for more than anything. Thank you so much Mandi, you have no idea what you've done for me…

Thank you.



Nikki's Story

I know that I an adult now, but I would like to thank you for being there for me when I needed someone.

I was 19, ready to commit suicide; I saw your ad on T.V, called and talked to a lady named Sonya. If it weren't for her, I would be dead today.

I am now 24, and still living my life day to day taking on anything that is thrown to me with a smile, even the bad.

I am now currently attending a university working on my Bachelors of Science for Business Administration. I still see a threapist and psychologist for my depression, but I haven't attempted suicide in over two years now.

I remembered what Sonya told me, "Hang in there, it gets better and you're never alone, you have me and everyone here!"She even helped me gain the nerve to tell my mother that I was depressed.

So, I wanted to thank you for your services and being there when I needed a shoulder to cry on.

I will recommend you to ANYONE!!!!!


Alexis's Story

Alexis's Voice has been turned into an animation, submit your story.

It's been about a month and I can honestly say, I've seen the change in me.

I'm smiling more, laughing a lot more, getting along with my mother, appreciating what I have, and so many good things.

I went from this shy , depressed girl who didn't want help to this happy, caring girl who loves helping people. [:

I stopped cutting myself, writing in my "suicide" journal, my eating disorder, and so many horrible habits i had.

I just really appreciate what y'all have done for me.

Y'all made my life like so much better with all the help I have received from y'all.

I'm really thankful for people like you to help teens express their emotions and get the help that they need; it's amazing.

Y'all helped me go down the right path that I needed to go on.

I'm just really happy for myself and hope that people that went through what I went through get the help that they need because their story is important and they are loved. [:

well, again thank you SO much for everything.

Y'all truly rock !

Take Care. [:

Anonymous Story

I called the Boys Town National Hotline a few months ago when I was going through a very difficult time in my life. I had been recently raped and just wasn't coping well. I started abusing prescription meds and I wanted to die. I absolutely wanted to die.

This one day, I took all the meds that I had on me.. in all, I took three or four different kinds and countless pills. And than, I called the hotline. After having taken the overdose. I have no idea who I spoke to, or what happened. But the hotline literally saved my life.

I woke up days later in the Intensive Care Unit of the hospital. I later found out that when the ambulance got to my house, I was unresponsive and rushed to the hospital where I slipped into a four day coma.

It never even crossed my mind that the hotline would of sent help to me.. Never, but to whoever I spoke to, Thank you. Thank you very much

Kenna's Story

…I didn’t want to be gone, but I still wanted to be gone because I didn’t want to go back to school and deal with all the things that were happening.

So I called…I spoke to a lady and she was literally like an angel, she was just there. And she told me that my life was worth so much more than what people said. She told me that I could go back to school with my held high on my shoulders. She said, “You can still smile. Underneath all this anger and hate that you have, and sadness you have, you still have a smile and I bet it’s beautiful.”

…She said that if I took my life away that I am giving them the satisfaction. She said, “You don’t need to do that. You can stick it out. You can make something of yourself.” And that was my turning point. She changed everything, absolutely everything. She saved my life. That is really when things started looking up…after that call.

Elizabeth's Story

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 18, and I used it often between the ages of 18 and 20. I have struggled with self-harm for about four and a half years. I remember at my lowest points I was self-harming 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 when I was self-harming while chatting. I knew I shouldn’t, so I asked if the counselor could call me on the phone. I gave the person my number, and the counselor talked with me on the phone while I cried. The counselor calmed me down and reassured me that what I was going through was a lot.

I was given a few things I could try. At the time, coping mechanisms to me were small things I could do 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 toward recovery.

I wish I remembered the name of the counselor 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, because of my own struggle, that the phone was probably the best and safest option for me; when I was on the phone I couldn’t focus on self-harming at the same time.

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 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

Thank Yous