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Newsletter #35 - More efficient site navigation; keeping in touch with old friends; how to tell your parents that you are struggling.

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Posted February 15th 2013 at 10:30 PM by TeenHelp
Updated April 15th 2013 at 06:46 PM by TeenHelp

Source: Newsletter | Issue 35 | If you would like to receive the full quality HTML version via email please sign up.

TeenHelp Newsletter

TeenHelp Newsletter #35 - February 15th 2013 - 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 (February 9th 2013)

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:

Helping a grieving friend

Knowing what to say, or how to be there for a grieving friend can be difficult. This video explores ways in which you can help a grieving friend, what to say and what not to say, how to spot if your friend needs professional help, and how to encourage them to seek help.

Never give up

This video combines inspirational messages with music and images to portray a very important message: this is your life, so live your purpose, your dreams and your passion. This uplifting video is a must-see for those needing a little motivation.

Does your child self-harm?

The target audience for this video is for parents, and it explains what they should do and how they should respond, should they find out that their child is hurting themselves.

Asperger's syndrome and education

Attending mainstream schools can be difficult and frustrating for those with Asperger's syndrome. This video explains what Asperger's syndrome is, its symptoms, and whether or not students with this disability are eligible for special education programmes. This video is a great starting place for students suspecting they have Asperger's syndrome, or indeed, parents with children who have been recently diagnosed with the disability.



Latest articles (February 5th 2013)

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:

My life with Asperger’s syndrome

Asperger’s syndrome is often talked about, yet little understood. In this article, a user with Asperger’s talks about what life is like for them, what the syndrome entails, and how it affects them. This is a uniquely insightful article that will make you more aware of what it means to be an ‘aspie’.

The advantages and disadvantages of labelling your sexual orientation and/or gender identity

For those questioning their sexual orientation or gender identity, some of the most common questions include ‘What does this make me?' and 'What should I call myself?’ Determining whether or not to apply a label to your orientation or identity can be a difficult decision, so this article explains some of the things to consider before choosing to use a label for yourself.

Coping with overbearing parents

When you are a teenager, it can sometimes feel like your parents are smothering you or holding you back, and you may not know what to do about it. This article explores some ways in which you can improve your interactions with your parents if you feel they are overbearing, so you can gain independence without sacrificing your relationship.



Redesigned navigation menu (January 27th 2013)

A newly designed navigation menu has been implemented on TeenHelp in order to improve accessibility for the site. Many features that were previously only available via the Support Forums, such as the Chat Room or Private Messages, can now be accessed from any page of the website. There are now two bars within the navigation menu, dividing features for everybody from those available only to registered users. These will help you to navigate around the site more quickly and get to where you need to with less clicking about. Happy browsing!



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.



Multiple Sclerosis Foundation

The Multiple Sclerosis Foundation was founded in 1986, and offers a complete approach to helping people with multiple sclerosis (MS) to maintain their health and well-being and stay self-sufficient. The website provides comprehensive information on MS, including the causes, symptoms and how it is diagnosed. There are also many articles with practical coping advice, making this website a must-see for those who are newly diagnosed and for those wishing to find out more about the disorder.



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 keep in touch with old friends

As you grow older, you inevitably move on with your life – and so do your friends. It can be difficult to keep in contact with old friends, but here are some tips to make sure you don’t drift too far away from each other.
  • Set up a regular date to hang out. For example, you could go out for coffee every Friday afternoon - that way keeping in touch becomes part of your routine.
  • If you live close enough to your old friends, invite them to spend time with you and your new friends; this will help them feel like they’re still part of your life.
  • Make use of modern technology – keep in touch via email, social networking, or video chat software.
  • If you want to add that personal touch, you could even try sending ‘snail mail’ back and forth – you could send letters, packages, and even postcards.
  • Be flexible. Take turns visiting each other, or meeting halfway. Remember that it’s a two-way street, and to be able to remain friends you both have to put in the effort.


Telling your parents that you are struggling

It can be difficult to tell parents when you are struggling. You may fear their potential reaction, or you don't want them to be upset with you. Regardless of their reaction, your parents love you and want the best for you. Struggling can mean anything from needing help in school to needing help for depression.
  • Before you talk to your parents, think about how you are going to tell them. Plan a time and a place. It's a lot more beneficial to talk to them when they aren't in a bad mood, and in a place with no distractions. This will help them to focus on you and your needs. Also, make a list of topics you want to discuss during the conversation, as this will help you to stay on track.
  • Decide how you are going to tell them. Are you going to tell them face-to-face? Will you leave them a letter? Both ways are beneficial. By telling them face-to-face, you can get their initial reaction, and they can ask you questions. Writing a letter can be good because it enables you to say all that you need to say, in the exact way you want to say it. You can leave the letter before you go to school or work, so that both parties have time to plan what they want to say.
  • If you argue a lot with your parents, finding a time when you aren't arguing will make the conversation run a lot smoother. You can start the conversation by apologising for your behaviour and telling them that you love them. It will help break the ice!
  • Be prepared to answer further questions. Your parents love you and genuinely care for your well being, so be prepared for questions they might ask you. Play out the entire conversation in your head so that you know what to say next.
  • Be open to alternate support. A lot of parents, after hearing that their child is struggling, will look for outside help. This can include counselling, finding tutors, seeing doctors and getting treatment. Remember that it isn't a punishment. It is simply because they love you and they want to see you happy.


How to develop a good study habit for school or college

It can be hard to develop a routine to study for that important test, for mid-term exams or for finals. However, with these helpful tips, studying could be a little bit easier.
  • Take notes during class and review the lesson before your next class. If there is anything that you don't understand, seek clarification from your teacher.
  • Attend revision sessions if they are offered, and make sure you go through practice tests as they are provided for a reason.
  • Study in a quiet place, for example, in a library, away from distractions. If you need some motivation, arrange study groups; friends can encourage you, as well as help out when you don't understand a topic.
  • Manage your time wisely. Ensure that studying takes priority over social activities.
  • Relax and get together with friends for some stress relief, as it can be especially helpful during exam time.


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.



A quick doodle
Using our creative side can give us something to be proud of. Using self expression can be very healing. See how this user expresses herself.

New York's new gun laws
Given the devastating school shooting in the US, the government has taken drastic measures to enforce new gun laws, even in New York state. Share your opinion on gun laws here.

Charity shops
They say that 'one man's trash is another man's treasure'. A lot of people shop at second hand charity shops, do you?

Songs that symbolises letting go of the past
Letting go of the past can be extremely difficult. Music can often aid in moving forward. This thread is full of songs that can help you move forward in a positive direction.

What aren't you going to be?
We all talk about what we want to be when we grow up, but have you ever considered what you don't want to be?



A party for you, but without you
Sometimes the simplest things can bring the biggest smile. Take a look at these colourful, delicious cookies! Perhaps it might inspire you to make your own!

Snow day
Snow days can be really fun. What do you like to do on a snow day? Read about this user's day here!


Social Groups

Celebrating awesome holidays
Are you interested in all the weird and wonderful national holidays, for example, Ice Cream for Breakfast Day or Random Acts of Kindness Day? If so, join this group to celebrate awesome holidays, and let users know about other holidays.


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 Illuminate


Upcoming events

Discussion: Combating anxiety (Saturday February 23rd 2013)

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 March 2nd 2013)

If you have low confidence or self-esteem you may find yourself unable to carry out certain tasks or feeling 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.

Discussion: Online safety (Saturday March 9th 2013)

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.

Discussion: Dealing with triggers (Saturday March 16th 2013)

Triggers are anything that reminds you of negative feelings or makes you want to perform unhealthy or dangerous behaviours. Often these are unavoidable parts of life and are tough to deal with on your own. This discussion will help you learn to control any urges the triggers may cause and how to prevent them from affecting 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

Newsletter Officer/Editor-in-Chief: Haley (Halcyon)
Assistant Editor: Chess (Celestial.)
Assistant Editor: Lyndsee (City Lights.)
Assistant Editor: Sammi (Masquerade.)
Assistant Editor: Rianna (Starlight.)

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