Hopelessness shows up as a tangle of lies and pain that hold people back and constricts what they're capable of. Sometimes we can see hopelessness, other times a hopeless person's struggle is deep within, as they wrestle to believe in their worth or that things will ever get better. Hopelessness doesn't just affect individual lives. It has a compounding impact, breaking down relationships, families and communities.
Teens are uniquely affected by hopelessness as they search for their identity, belonging and purpose. Without positive voices of truth and hope, the trajectory of their lives may be affected. While some circumstances cannot be changed and there is no promise that teens won't struggle or experience pain, TreeHouse helps teens believe in their value, worth and capabilities to know they have a future and seek to have a positive impact on how they behave, make decisions and view their world. Since 1979 Twin Cities based TreeHouse has helped teens build relationships and resiliency rooted in living hope, giving teens a solid footing and transformed outlook for their lives. Kowalski's 4 Kids is very proud to support this critically important mission.
Hopelessness looks like:
- Depression and anxiety
- School issues
- Isolation and avoidance
- Substance abuse
- Thoughts and attempts of suicide
- Bullying and aggression
- Unsafe personal relationships
- Criminal behavior
When teens come to TreeHouse, sometimes it's the first time someone has looked them in the eye and been genuinely happy to see them all week. Through spaces and programs like retreats, service projects and social activities, TreeHouse helps teens find support and have fun in environments where they feel valued and cared for. While learning to understand their emotions and what causes them, teens get support from peers and adult leaders who understand and share these experiences. Emphasis is placed on forming healthy relationships, building coping skills to navigate life's obstacles, and discovering personal value and purpose. Growth groups dig into topics like anger, self-harm, leadership or forgiveness and create a space for discussion and learning. Mentoring connects teens with a caring adult who serves as a consistent presence and a voice of love in their life.
TreeHouse wants all teens to believe:
I am lovable, capable and worthwhile.
I am loved without strings and never alone.
I have a future.
"As a former principal, I saw every day that the most common type of hopelessness wasn't a lack of physical resources but a lack of connection, support and love – especially from caring, present adults. I love how TreeHouse gives teens a picture of what a different path can look like while being surrounded by caring, invested adults." – Bruce, retired educator
"No matter what I've done or what's been done to me, I can work through it, reach my goals and become stronger. My life isn't defined by this moment, but I have a future to look forward to." – Elle, 16
You can learn more about TreeHouse, get involved and support their mission at www.treehousehope.org.