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Newsletter #28 - Share your experiences to improve TeenHelp; staying motivated during studying; avoiding the damaging effects of sunburn.

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Posted July 15th 2012 at 04:45 PM by TeenHelp
Updated August 18th 2012 at 04:22 PM by TeenHelp

Source: Newsletter | Issue 28 | If you would like to receive the full quality HTML version via email please sign up.

TeenHelp Newsletter

TeenHelp Newsletter #28 - July 15th 2012 - 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.


TeenHelp User Experience Survey (July 14th 2012)

A User Experience Survey has been launched in an effort to improve the quality of TeenHelp's services. The survey is completely anonymous and will be used to identify problematic areas of the site, and to make improvements so that TeenHelp is able to provide a better and safer environment for all of its users. Help us to help you receive a more satisfying experience by completing the online form here and tell what you think about TeenHelp:



Latest videos (July 11th 2012)

Due to the hard work of our Videos Team, we continue to see 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:

Positive thinking

Positive thinking can improve your life drastically. This video encourages people to be more aware of themselves. It also explains that, in order to be happier, you have to be responsible and take charge of your life.

Someone who will listen

This video tells the story about a person going through difficult times and then opening up to their friends and family, as well as their experiences with a counsellor. It also presents the inspirational message that although there may be bad days, it is better when you are surrounded by people who are willing to listen to you. The video closes with two different helpline numbers.

Learning disabilities FAQ

There are many different types of learning difficulties, and it can challenge the way people learn in life. This video explains what learning difficulties are, their causes, warning signs, how they are diagnosed, and some common treatments.

How to make a strawberry smoothie

The summer months are a great time to treat yourself to a smoothie. This video focuses on how to make a strawberry smoothie. It is definitely worth watching if you would like to try something that is both healthy and refreshing.



Latest articles (July 8th 2012)

Our team of talented writers bring our users a constant stream of fresh articles to read each month. Articles are being published regularly, so be sure to check regularly to see what we're doing. Some of our latest additions include:

Guide to condoms

The diverse variety of condoms available can be overwhelming. This article goes through some of the variables, such as size, material, and styles, in order to help you choose which condom is right for you or your partner.

How to begin dating

While there are many articles out there about how to deal with issues in relationships, this article takes a step back and talks about what to do before a relationship begins. It covers topics such as how to meet people and why it is better to be friends before looking to date someone.

Spending quality time with your family

As people grow older, they may find that their relationships with their family deteriorates. This article gives some ideas on how to avoid this or how to rectify it, as well as explaining why there is a need to spend quality time with your family.




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.



Yellow Ribbon

Yellow Ribbon, founded in 1994, is a suicide prevention programme that aims to educate and empower people as a means of preventing suicide amongst youth. Yellow Ribbon's website includes warning signs of suicide, coping strategies for those feeling suicidal, a helpline, a list of support groups and other useful links. It also provides an 'Ask 4 Help' card, which can be printed and used to reach out for help in times of crisis. TeenHelp have been working alongside Yellow Ribbon for many years and they are a fantastic resource for those who are seeking help, and for those who want to help others.



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.


How to get motivated to study

Finding the motivation to study can be difficult when there are so many other things that you would rather be doing, but studying well will provide you with better prospects for the future. Here are some tips on how to stay focused.
  • Find a quiet, comfortable place to study, away from distractions. Facing a wall can help you to focus on the task at hand. Only bring the materials that you need, and keep your cell phone switched off.
  • Set yourself realistic goals - What would you like to get done by the end of the day? Create a study timetable, including scheduled breaks; get into the habit of studying at the same time every day, and don't wait until the last minute so that you have plenty of time to complete assignments. This, in turn, will save you stress and will most likely boost your grades.
  • Enlist the help of a friend, as studying with someone can seem less boring. A friend can also encourage you and cheer you on.
  • Studying when you don't understand something can be discouraging, so ask your teacher if you are unsure of anything. A personal tutor who specialises in the subject you need help with can be fun and rewarding.
  • Arrange an outing with some friends, on the condition that you can only go out when you have completed the work. Alternatively, find another reward that will be a good incentive for you to study.


How to avoid sunburn

Summer is finally here, and in many parts of the world, it just keeps getting hotter and hotter! Sunburns can really put a damper on your summer, so here are some tips on how to avoid sunburns in the future!
  • Avoid going out in the sun during peak hours. For most of us (depending on where you live) the hours are between 10:00am to 3:00pm.
  • Even though it can get really hot, try to stay as covered up as possible. Big beach hats and umbrellas work really well while on the beach. However, during hiking or cycling it is better to wear longer pants (trousers) and shirts. Visit your local sports store for clothing that allows breathing and cover-up.
  • Apply sunscreen generously to any exposed areas, not forgetting those 'hard to reach places'! Be sure to:
    • Cover the back of your knees, elbows, the back of your ears, and feet if they are exposed.
    • Use sunscreen with SPF 45, as it even allows people with extremely fair skin to spend a few hours in the sun before re-applying.
    • Follow the directions on the back of the bottle, and re-apply sunscreen when it tells you to.
    • Re-apply when you get out of the water, as it will have washed off by then.
  • Use a small amount of sunscreen or sun oil on your scalp so that it does not burn as well. A good alternative would be to cover that area up with a hat.
  • Do not lie in the sun purposefully seeking a tan. This is not only damaging to your skin, but is likely to burn it the first few times you try. If you want to tan, a gradual and sensible approach is best, that is, short exposure and building up over time.


Overcoming social anxiety

Social anxiety can be be very debilitating and can hold you back in many aspects of your life, but the good news is it can be beaten. Here are some ideas to help you overcome social anxiety.
  • Identify what triggers your anxiety, and then set yourself small, manageable goals by creating a list of activities that you could try. Rank each item on your list on a scale of one to ten according to how anxiety-inducing they are. Confront the activities lowest on your list first and then build up to the ones higher up.
  • Challenge negative thoughts by considering questions such as, "What evidence is there to suggest that your thoughts are true?" and, "How will you feel about the situation in a few months' time?" Remember that anxiety/fear can lead you to believe something that is not actually true.
  • When you find yourself in a difficult social setting, focus your attention outwards. Look at your surroundings and observe what other people are doing. Thinking about how the situation is making you feel can intensify the anxiety, so try to shift your focus.
  • Learn relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing, to help you calm yourself in social situations.
  • Try not to avoid social events as it reinforces fear, and it may make it more difficult for you to start interacting with people again. The more practice you get, the easier it will become.
  • Volunteer in an area that interests you. It is a good way to put yourself out there and challenge yourself little by little. Alternatively, you could join a support group, or a club to meet like-minded people, as you may find that just as rewarding.


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.



What did you do for the 4th July?
If you live in the United States of America then it's possible that you recently celebrated independence on the 4th July. Did you do anything interesting on this day? Read what our users did and share your activities in the following thread.

What famous people have you met?
Meeting famous people can be really exciting, particularly if it's somebody you're a fan of. Tell us your stories about who you've met here.

What tricks does your dog know?
Dogs are intelligent creatures and can learn special tricks with a bit of practice. What have you taught your dog to do?

Where have you travelled to?
Visiting new and exotic places can be a great way to learn about different cultures, see things you can't see back home and have a load of fun. Whether you have been abroad, or have travelled within your own country, let us know here!


Social Groups

Religion Doesn't Matter
Do you wish to live in a world free from hate and discrimination? Do you believe that all humans should be treated equally, no matter their religion? Join this group to take a stand and show the world that religion doesn't matter; what really matters is the person you are.

Eating Disorder Recovery Cake Party
If you are suffering from an eating disorder and want to recover, or if you are currently on the road to recovery, join this group for support and encouragement from your peers. At the end of your journey, you can then reward yourself with your chosen flavour of cake; be sure to let everyone know!


Picture Of The Month

Each month we feature a picture by one of our users. If you would like to see your picture here please contact us by replying to this Newsletter, emailing us at contact@teenhelp.org, or messaging our Newsletter Officer (Halcyon) on the website.

Picture by Bibliophile


Upcoming events

Discussion: Building positive relationships (Saturday July 21st 2012)

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: Death and grieving (Saturday July 28th 2012)

Death can be one of the toughest struggles to overcome. If you know someone who has passed away, and need help with moving on, join this discussion to learn more and help others with the same difficulties. Also, if you have lost loved ones to suicide, this discussion will help you start the healing process as a survivor.

Discussion: Maximising your productivity (Saturday August 4th 2012)

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: Online safety (Saturday August 11th 2012)

Going online can be fun and sociable. We often use the Internet for school, work or just to check our Facebook pages. But though we may think it's safe, this isn't always the case; hackers and predators may lurk in cyberspace undetected, and be a nuisance for us in both our online and offline lives. This discussion will help you learn how to stay safe online and avoid being victimised by those out to hurt you.

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
Newsletter Officer/Deputy Editor: Haley (Halcyon)
Assistant Editor: Jessie (eunoia)
Assistant Editor: Lyndsee (Heartlines.)
Assistant Editor: Rianna (Sunlight.)

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