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Newsletter #17 - Improving FCRDs; making the move to university; beating your addictions.

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Posted August 15th 2011 at 01:30 PM by TeenHelp
Updated November 17th 2011 at 05:29 PM by Rob

Source: Newsletter | Issue 17 | If you would like to receive the full quality HTML version via email please sign up.

TeenHelp Newsletter

TeenHelp Newsletter #17 - August 15th 2011 - http://www.teenhelp.org

Welcome to the TeenHelp Newsletter! Our Newsletter contains a lot of useful information about our current work, including updates to our site and services, work with our partners and affiliates, details of upcoming events, short bits of advice, interesting links and more!


TeenHelp News

TeenHelp regularly makes changes to its site and services. Some of these are large and noticeable, and others are small and much less so, but each one contributes to the positive development of TeenHelp and how our users experience our community. Below are some of the most recent developments.


Revised Facilitated Chat Room Discussion structure (August 14th 2011)

TeenHelp's weekly Facilitated Chat Room Discussions (FCRDs) continue to be an incredibly popular way for our users to gain support from others. In order for our discussions to benefit our users as best as they can, we have decided to review the main topics in our current set up, which we have used for over a year now. These changes have been designed to resolve some of the issues faced by our previous discussion topics, to more fully cover the main issues experienced by young people, and to provide a higher proportion and more even spread of 'free' topics so that we can take even more topic suggestions from our users. Below is our new structure:

Week 1: Building confidence and self-esteem
Week 2: Free
Week 3: Dealing with triggers
Week 4: Free
Week 5: Building positive relationships
Week 6: Free
Week 7: Maximising your productivity
Week 8: Free
Week 9: Living with mental illness
Week 10: Free
Week 11: Facing the challenges of growing up
Week 12: Free



Latest videos (August 6th 2011)

Due to the hard work of our new Videos Team, over the last several months we have seen many great additions to our Videos section. More videos are being added all the time, so check regularly to see all our favourite picks! Some of our latest additions include:

How To Stop Biting Your Nails

Biting your nails can be an infuriating habit that might seem impossible to overcome. This video explains the reasons for nail-biting, how to care for your nails properly, and offers tips for distracting you from the urge to bite your nails.

Keeping Your Hair Healthy

If you want to keep your hair, then you need to keep it healthy! This video covers best practice in washing and cutting your hair, and also (for the ladies) how pregnancy might affect your hair.

How To Be Single And Happy

Being single might seem like a drag, but it shouldn't be a reason to be glum. This video shows you how to appreciate the independence you have whilst single, and how to maintain a health optimism for the future.



Avatar release! (July 19th 2011)

The long wait is finally over; TeenHelp is proud to announce the return of its magazine, Avatar, and with it seven new issues for you to read through at once! Although it has been a struggle to get the magazine back on its feet, we hope to be able to return to a regularly monthly release schedule from now. The Avatar team would like to thank all of its readers for their continued patronage, support and patience in recent months. To read the issues we've released, visit the Avatar page linked below.




TeenHelp works with a range of different organisations and websites in order to help and educate young people. Below is a selection of some of them. For a full list of the organisations we work with, please visit our Resources page.




Beat is a UK charity providing support to those affected by eating disorders. Their website contains comprehensive information about the different types of eating disorders, survivors stories, fundraising ideas, and much more. They provide assistance in connecting you with local sources of support throughout the UK.




S-Cool is a website that aims to assist students in the UK between the ages of 14 to 18 with preparing for their GCSEs or A-levels, with help available on a wide variety of subjects such as mathematics, science and history. As well as providing you the information you need to know, there are also practice questions available to help you prepare properly for your exams.



Tips Of The Month

Each month we share small bits of practical advice that you can implement to improve your life or that of others.


Getting the most out of university life

University provides a lot of exciting possibilities and can open doors to your future. But it can be really hard to handle the competing demands of university life, so follow these tips to manage it a bit better.
  • Stay alert in lectures and take good notes. Before an assignment is due, talk to your lecturer to check if you're on the right track and for any tips/advice that they can give you in order to do well.
  • Join at least one club or society so you can make friends who share the same interests as you, as well as develop skills, such as leadership or organisation.
  • Stick to a budget, no matter how boring that sounds. This will allow you to have fun while maintaining control, and not to mention getting in some good practice for later in life.
  • Learn how to cook a few decent meals, as you don't want to waste all your money on take-away food. Not only does it cause a hole in your wallet or purse but it won't do you any good health-wise. Ask your relatives, friends or search on the Internet for some good recipes.
  • Ensure the friends you make are right for you. If you start feeling uncomfortable, try taking a step back and exploring alternatives. Get more involved with your clubs, look for ways to make new friends, or go home for a few days to break the habit of hanging around them.


Having a productive summer

School's out, and you have a lot of time on your hands. How do you escape the boredom? Here are a few ideas to help you make the most of your summer vacation.
  • If you're old enough, apply for temporary jobs, as this is a chance to earn money while gaining valuable work experience that could help secure employment in the future. Volunteering is also a way of acquiring experience, but giving back to the community, helping others, and feeling good about your efforts at the same time.
  • Many of your hobbies may have been cast aside to make time for school commitments. Here is your chance to rediscover an enjoyable past time, or try something that you've never done before.
  • Learn something new, such as self-defence to enhance your self-confidence, or first aid, as you never know when you might need these skills.
  • Attend summer courses to add to your knowledge base, and to keep your brain active, so it won't come as a shock when you go back to school.
  • Don't forget that the summer holiday is a time to relax and recharge your batteries. Chill out with a light-hearted book, or go outside and enjoy the warmer weather!


How to make your money go further this school year

For many of us, summer is just about to close and another school year is around the corner. Every year we try to start off fresh and clean, buying lots of new items. But is what we buy really necessary?
  • Decide what items you really need right now, and what items can wait. Ask yourself key questions as to how important the item is. For example "Could I complete my work without this item?" or "Are my old items still usable?"
  • When shopping, think about the price and the product. Are the expensive items really worth it, or can you make do with a cheaper alternative? Perhaps a second-hand item will be sufficient.
  • Course books can be pricey, so don't forget to use the library, or split the cost with a friend.
  • Take advantage of any student discounts that are available.
  • Ask a friend or family member for their opinion on a product. When we want something, we may get blinded by our desires and neglect to see any flaws; we can stop that by getting second opinions.


Interesting Things (on TeenHelp)

A lot of content is posted to TeenHelp every single day, from threads to articles, social groups to albums. But it is difficult for even the most veteran user to keep on top of it all, so we have selected a few items from among the masses that we thought were interesting to draw your attention to.



Nervous about university.
If you're starting university soon you might be nervous about the things to come. Let's help each other by sharing ideas and experiences!

Best Day!
In this thread one of our users shares the story of their best day. Now think about a day that was special to you instead, what you did on that day and who you spent it with.

Social Networks: How do You Like Google+ (Google Plus) So Far?
Is Facebook's latest challenger, Google+, the next big thing, or will it just flop like the many others? Tell us what you think here!

What would you say to a younger you?
We've all made mistakes while growing up, but whatever they were, it's okay because we're only human. But if you could go back in time, what would you tell your younger self?


Social Groups

Everyone's Perfect
Do you believe that perfection exists within our imperfections? The world is full of opposites. The concept of imperfection cannot be understood without perfection, just as we cannot appreciate the heat without the cold. If you believe that everyone is perfect, then this group is for you!

No Judging Here

The feeling of being judged can evoke a negative atmosphere, and we often need a place where we can escape to and just be ourselves. Join this group to interact with people who will not judge you.


The Great Big Hug Guy brings together and supports those who have been abused in the past. If you believe in the GBH Guy's wonderful message that everybody should be free from abuse, then join him in raising awareness.


Upcoming events

Discussion: Building positive relationships (Saturday August 20th 2011)

Relationships between family members, friends and significant others each come with their own difficulties, but knowing how to overcome the obstructions to your relationships is essential if they are to be fulfilling for you. Join this discussion to look at how to build positive relationships with those you care about.

Discussion: Substance use (Saturday August 27th 2011)

Substance use may start with experimentation, but can often lead to dependency, the consequences of which can vary from minor risks to life threatening situations. If you are struggling with substance use, or want to help a loved one, this discussion can support you through it.

Discussion: Maximising your productivity (Saturday September 3rd 2011)

Whether you're in school, university or the world of work, maintaining your productivity is an essential part of life. Join this discussion to learn how to stay focused, plan your workload effectively and fight off the temptation of procrastination.

Discussion: Addictive behaviours (Saturday September 10th 2011)

An addictive behaviour is any activity that a person has become intensely focused or dependent on, to the detriment of other areas of their life, such as school, work or relationships. If you or a loved one are struggling with a non-substance related addiction, such as gambling, sex, or the Internet, join this discussion to learn more and to find ways to cope.

For more information about upcoming Facilitated Chat Room Discussions (FCRDs), and the times that these discussions will take place, please visit our FCRD page.



Donate to TeenHelp

In order to continue providing free services to young people around the world, TeenHelp requires a constant income of voluntary donations to support our regular costs. If you are able to, we ask that you please donate any money you can to us, even if it's only a few dollars.



Follow us on Facebook and Twitter

Our Facebook and Twitter pages are a great place to get a lot of high-quality information. We aim to connect you to interesting organisations, volunteering opportunities, events, news stories, pictures, videos, and more!

Facebook: http://www.teenhelp.org/facebook
Twitter: http://www.teenhelp.org/twitter


Editorial team

Editor-in-Chief: Rob
Deputy Editor: Haley (Halcyon)
Assistant Editor: Rianna (Moonlight.)
Assistant Editor: Rylan (Ashiteru)

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