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Newsletter #18 - Effective note-taking; learning to be street smart; managing mental illness.

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Posted September 17th 2011 at 03:45 PM by TeenHelp
Updated November 17th 2011 at 06:29 PM by Rob

Source: Newsletter | Issue 18 | If you would like to receive the full quality HTML version via email please sign up.

TeenHelp Newsletter

TeenHelp Newsletter #18 - September 17th 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.


Latest videos (September 3rd 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 Stay Safe On The Streets

Street crime is on the rise, and anyone can be a target. This video explains how to be aware of what's going on around you, what to wear and how to not draw attention to yourself, as well as where you should avoid walking if you are alone.

The Eat Well Plate

A healthy diet is important, not only to help you look and feel good, but also to reduce the risk of illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease. This video contains information on what foods to consume to maintain a healthy lifestyle, how to incorporate fruit and vegetables in each meal, and how much of each food group you should eat throughout the day.

How To Make Marzipan Animals

If you enjoy food then get creative and make your own delicious treats today. This video will show you how to make your own marzipan animals, including what dye to use, how to mould the marzipan and how to the support the animals whilst they're drying.

Political Parties and Social Issues [USA]

When it comes to which political party to support, there are a wide variety of issues that might concern you. This informative video will help you to decide which political party is right for you, and will compare the stance of different parties on issues such as gay rights and marriage, abortion, medical marijuana and so on.



New Assistant Editor (August 20th 2011)

TeenHelp is pleased to be able to welcome a new Assistant Editor to the Newsletter Team. We congratulate and wish Lyndsee (Amoroso) all the best in her new position!




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.




Rethink is a UK charity founded over 30 years ago to campaign on mental health issues. The Rethink website contains information on mental illnesses, their causes, and different types of treatment and therapies, as well as real life stories from people who have experienced mental health issues. The website also provides material on legislation and rights surrounding mental health specifically for people in the UK.



OCD Online

OCD Online is exclusively devoted to promoting a greater awareness and understanding of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). This website provides articles written by its founder (a clinical psychologist), and information on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) for the treatment of OCD. There is also the opportunity to find out answers to your questions, and a list of recommended readings.



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.


Taking good notes in class

Information presented in class often contains material that is expected to appear in exams. Unfortunately, students don't always know how to take proper notes, but just like anything, effective note-taking needs practice. Memory isn't perfect and won't last forever, but if you have good notes you can review and reflect on them all year long!
  • Try not rely on others for good class notes; take notes yourself. By writing things down, you take the first step towards putting the information and ideas into your own words, making it easier to remember and identify.
  • Keep a notebook. Take detailed notes on the left page, and write a basic summary on the right page.
  • A lot of teachers use outlines in their lectures. Use the points that the teachers jot down as major headings for your notes, then fill in information under each heading; this way you'll understand the topic beyond what is written on the board.
  • If the teacher writes a list of terms on the board, jot them down. Exams will usually include these terms, and you'll be expected to identify them.
  • Use abbreviations, as it will save time and space, allowing you to take better notes. For example, instead of writing "popular sovereignty", write "pop sov". Just make sure you remember what abbreviation relates to what term.


How to succeed at university

University can be a busy time for all of us, and the things that contribute to how well you do are complicated. The following simple tips are just a few things that might help you succeed.
  • Attend class. This may sound obvious, but many students regularly miss classes, and this can result in them missing important information that they will need to know.
  • If you have access to lecture outlines, notes or assignments before class, give them a read, even if it means quickly skimming over them. This will help you to get more out of the lecture.
  • Studying, like most chores, will be more enjoyable if you have a study partner to support you and to discuss ideas and problems with.
  • Get some sleep. Some students pull all-nighters, which results in a lack of concentration, and reduced ability to absorb information.
  • Your social life and other interests are just as important as studying. Achievement doesn't come if you chain yourself to the library, so make sure to get involved in activities that your university has to offer.


Keeping your brain in top shape

It is important to exercise our brains in order to stay sharp; it improves concentration and memory, and in doing so, helps us to learn better. Here are some ways to help keep your brain in top shape.
  • Play sudoku, crossword puzzles, and other brain training games that are challenging but also fun.
  • Learn something new, for example, a new language or instrument, as this will help to stimulate the brain. Also try to learn a new word every day.
  • Stress causes the release of a damaging hormone, cortisol, so try to avoid and manage stress by simplifying your life and practising relaxation techniques.
  • Eat a healthy diet, with plenty of antioxidants (such as apples, blueberries and strawberries) and omega-3 rich foods (such as salmon, flax seeds and walnuts).
  • Mild to moderate regular exercise can help to enhance brain power, but don't over do it, as exhaustion and fatigue can have the opposite effect on your brain.
  • Get adequate sleep, as this helps to improve mental performance.


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.



Do you talk to strangers?
While growing up, we may have heard our parents and other adults utter that familiar phrase, 'never talk to strangers'. How would you react if a stranger approached you?

Do you follow the same religion as your parents?
Our parents can have a lot of influence over us, but as we mature and get older, we make our own decisions about life, including our religious beliefs.

Reason for your beliefs
There are many different reasons for what people believe. Share the things that have influenced and inspired you here!


Social Groups

Pianists/Piano Lovers
Piano music can calm the soul after a long, difficult day. If you enjoy listening to the soothing sounds to help you relax and unwind, or if you simply love to play the piano, then join this group today!

The A.M.
Do you find yourself awake at unearthly hours in the morning, or have trouble falling asleep at night? If so, then join this group to meet people in a similar position, and discuss ways in which to help each other.


Upcoming events

Discussion: Living with mental illness (Saturday September 17th 2011)

Although one in four people experience mental health problems, there is regrettably still a stigma attached to it, which prevents people from seeking help. Consequently, living with a mental illness can be a particularly isolating time. If you're concerned about your mental health, join this discussion to discuss day-to-day coping techniques, how to reach out to professionals and other aspects of living with mental illness.

Discussion: Peer pressure and bullying (Saturday September 24th 2011)

The pressure to conform in order to be accepted is very prevalent in today's society, as is the act of bullying if someone appears to be different in some way. Join this discussion if you are being bullied or pressured into doing something against your will, or to learn more about how to help someone who is being targeted.

Discussion: Facing the challenges of growing up (Saturday October 1st 2011)

The transition from childhood, through adolescence and into adulthood can be very testing, as you seek to find greater independence and a balanced lifestyle, while also coping with the developmental, emotional and psychological changes to your mind and body. You are not alone, however. Join this discussion for advice on how to make the transition easier, and to learn from the experiences of others.

Discussion: Anxiety (Saturday October 8th 2011)

Anxiety can manifest itself in many different ways, from acute phobias to complicated patterns of debilitating fear. This discussion will help you to share and develop coping mechanisms, combat your fears and learn to help others living with anxiety.

Discussion: Building confidence and self-esteem (Saturday October 15th 2011)

If you have low confidence or self-esteem you may feel unable to carry out certain tasks or that you are disliked by others. These feelings might hold you back and stop you from enjoying life to its fullest. Join this discussion to learn techniques to give your self-esteem a boost, and how to work on building confidence for a more fulfilling lifestyle.

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.



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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!

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Editorial team

Editor-in-Chief: Rob
Deputy Editor: Haley (Halcyon)
Assistant Editor: Lyndsee (Amoroso)
Assistant Editor: Rianna (Moonlight.)

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