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Communlity Digest

Downey : Teen-Agers Will Soon Have Toll-Free Crisis Hot Line

September 23, 1993

Troubled Downey teen-agers will be able to call a toll-free crisis hot line based in San Antonio, Tex., starting in late October. Telephone counselors will be available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, to middle and high school students seeking advice or referrals.

The goal of the nationwide service, called the "I Care Hotline," is to help students cope with problems in school or at home, such as alcoholism, drug abuse, rape, depression or peer pressure.

"It's a program that is sorely needed by the kids these days," said Alice Yamada, a volunteer who proposed the hot line for the Downey Unified School District. "There are so many problems out there with drugs, alcohol, sex and gangs. There are kids considering suicide. They need somebody to talk to. They need someone to listen to them."

The district will distribute cards and posters with the hot line number. A committee of parents, residents, and board members has raised about $9,000 to pay for the hot line for the first year. The committee is accepting contributions to maintain the service. Information: (310) 861-0399.

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