KUTO’s History

KUTO Factoids

  • Founded in 1986 following a one-day conference attended by Judy Crowell (in picture below) along with other educators, parents, psychologists and law enforcers to explore St. Louis area youth needs and desires
  • Executive committee recruited and agency incorporated in 1987
  • Governed by a volunteer Board of Directors; three Directors are teens representing the different agency programsKUTO Founder Judy Crowell
  • Provides services that encourage young people to find the strength and hope to cope positively with the pressures and stressors in their lives
  • Only telephone hotline in the Midwest staffed entirely by trained teen volunteers
  • KUTO Crisis Worker volunteers help over 1,200 callers every year
  • Hundreds of students have completed training to become Peer Helpers
  • More than 35,000 yellow ribbons and KUTO wallet cards are distributed during Yellow Ribbon Project each year
  • Partners with mental health organizations and service providers to reduce the stigma associated with depression, brain illness and suicide
  • Offers support for teens that are struggling with grief, guilt, anger and sadness following a suicidal loss
  • Collaborates to offer creative initiates to advance peer mentoring, prevention advocacy and student-led health and wellness projects like Winning with Wellness, the Yellow Ribbon Project, Saving our Students, and Spotlight Theater T.E.E.N.
  • Member of the American Association of Suicidology
  • Member of the National Peer Helper Association, the Light for Life Foundation, the Mental Health Association and the United Way of Greater St. Louis
  • Awards scholarships to graduating seniors who plan to pursue a “helping field” in college or advanced education.

A brief history…


Learn more about volunteering with KUTO.