Calls and chimes for help fill the small room where teenage volunteers dedicate their time and hearts to helping their peers from Oregon and all over the globe.
"We talk to a lot of people for whom YouthLine feels like only source of support they have,” Gabrielle Paisner, an 18-year-old YouthLine volunteer, said.
"We are currently in this environment and living some of these experiences, so I think we can provide a level of relatability that some adults can't,” lead volunteer Zakia Elazami added.
Elazami says she grapples with her own mental health.
"Sometimes I have bad days,” she said. “I don’t think I am in a position of crisis anymore and I think that's why I'm able to do this work.”
When a family member cried out for help on social media, she realized all it takes is making the connection.
“They just felt like they had no where to go,” Elazami said. “I kind of had this realization maybe just reaching out to people, having individual conversations with people, doing that work to de-escalate and connect with people can make this massive difference sometimes. And it’s such a simple thing, and I think because it’s so simple we overlook it really easily.”
She believes people just want to be listened to, have their feelings and emotions validated, and to be told their crisis is real. Elazami says our society can fail struggling youth by downplaying or dismissing their crises sometimes.
“Feeling heard and feeling understood is what allows people to find that hope for themselves. I don't think we provide it for people; I think we give people the space to find it in themselves,” she added.
That hope has kept Gabrielle Paisner coming back to volunteer at YouthLine for the last two years.
"We get to play a role in the larger task of changing the culture surrounding suicide and mental illness,” Paisner told KGW. “It feels good to be able to be a part of that.”