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March 22, 2011

CONTACT:  609-633- 8507
Lauren Kidd

2NDFLOOR Youth Helpline Served More Than 140,000 Young People in 2010

Department of Children and Families, 180 Turning Lives Around, and High School Students Join Together to Promote the 2NDFLOOR Youth Helpline


WEST WINDSOR – Lisa von Pier, Director of the Division of Prevention and Community Partnerships, within the Department of Children and Families, joined representatives from 180 Turning Lives Around and young people at West Windsor Plainsboro High School South today to spread the word about the 2NDFLOOR® Youth Helpline.

The helpline – 1-888-222-2228 – is available 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week to children and young adults ages 10-24. The program’s slogan is:  “Anything, Anytime, Anywhere,” and it is designed to provide universal, toll-free, confidential telephone assistance that offers immediate interactive, respectful helpline services with linkage to appropriate information and resources. The 2NDFLOOR Youth Helpline operates from 180 Turning Lives Around, Inc. in Hazlet, NJ.

“The 2NDFLOOR helpline is an exciting example of what can happen when a state agency partners with a community organization, schools and service providers to make available an important resource for children throughout the entire state,” von Pier said. “Besides providing guidance and direction, 2NDFLOOR counselors also provide important information and referrals to other resources the Department of Children and Families and community groups throughout the state have to offer.”

2NDFLOOR served more than 140,000 young people throughout New Jersey last year through its helpline and Web site – Young people can contact 2NDFLOOR to talk to trained adults on any topic they choose. They have called to talk about topics such as substance abuse, sexuality and peer relationships. Of the calls fielded last year, bullying was the fastest growing call category.

“We are so pleased that the 2NDFLOOR Youth Helpline is answering the call for all young people in New Jersey. It takes an immense amount of courage for a child to pick up the phone, but once they do, we know we're making a difference,” said 180 Executive Director Anna Diaz-White. “We at 180 are so grateful for our partnership with DCF and fully support their mission to serve and safeguard the most vulnerable children and families in New Jersey.”

The 2NDFLOOR Youth Helpline is supported by a unique partnership of state, federal and private funding sources. In 2008, the 2NDFLOOR Youth Helpline was awarded $626,000 to support a statewide teen helpline as a part of the Safe Streets and Safe Neighborhoods initiative. That broad plan was rolled out to help prevent crime and deter gang involvement in New Jersey by investing in key prevention programs serving at-risk youth in communities experiencing a high incidence of violence and gang activity.

To help raise awareness of the 2NDFLOOR Youth Helpline, visit its Web site at