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Newsletter #43 - How to discuss self-harm with family and friends; Keep going in the face of stress; helping friends through difficult times.

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Posted October 20th 2013 at 03:00 PM by TeenHelp
Updated October 20th 2013 at 03:26 PM by Rob

Source: Newsletter | Issue 43 | If you would like to receive the full quality HTML version via email please sign up.

TeenHelp Newsletter

TeenHelp Newsletter #43 - October 20th 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.


Volunteers needed! (October 20th 2013)

TeenHelp is run entirely by volunteers who give their time and experience to make everything we do happen! We are always looking for new volunteers to help out, in roles ranging from mentoring to writing. If you have a few hours a week to spare then why not give it a go, your contribution could make a massive difference to TeenHelp and the young people we support on a daily basis.



Latest videos (October 6th 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:

How to stay safe on Facebook

Social networking sites are becoming increasingly popular. Watch this video to learn how to stay safe on Facebook, including how to adjust privacy controls and how to restrict who can view your profile and contact information.

How to relax using deep breathing techniques

In a fast-paced and stressful life, it is important to know how to relax properly. This video teaches you just that, from making yourself comfortable, to focusing on the rhythm of your inhale and exhale.

Time management

Managing your time effectively is important for increasing productivity and reducing stress. This video is geared towards those in education and answers questions such as, how much time you should devote to study, and how much time you should set aside for social or leisure activities.

How to carve a traditional pumpkin lantern face

Halloween is approaching fast! This video explains, in detail, how to carve a traditional jack-o'-lantern. What this video and get creative!



Latest articles (October 4th 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:

Discussing self-harm with a loved one

Self harm can be a difficult topic to bring up, even with those whom you love. This article provides some information on how to go about discussing self harm with those you love, including ways to make it easier on yourself as well as the loved one.

Understanding transvestism and cross-dressing

In a world where gender is often misconstrued as simply ‘male’ or ‘female’, it can be hard to express yourself fully when you disagree with such a binary view. Such terms as drag queen, transvestism, and cross-dressing may not be readily understood by the general population. This article aims to clear up some of the myths and present some facts about a topic which is gaining more attention in the public eye.




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.



Voice Collective

Voice Collective is a support service run by Mind, which aims to help young people who are dealing with hallucinations. Their website contains information about different types of hallucinations, possible explanations as to why it happens, and coping and recovery methods. It also provides various helplines and other ways to get help, including how to join one of their London-based face-to-face support groups. Their peer support groups are designed to be safe places, where young people aged 12-18 can meet others alike, offering mutual friendship and support. In addition to this, Voice Collective also provide training to those wishing to help young people with hallucinations, and work to advocate on behalf of young people to send out a more positive message about hallucinations.



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 deal with stressful situations

Stress, in one form or another, is unavoidable. It may arise from situations with friends, school, co-workers, or even just the daily responsibilities of life. Although it is impossible to avoid it, here are some tips on how you can reduce its impact:
  • Take a deep breath. This may sound trivial, but it can actually be quite helpful. If you feel yourself becoming stressed, take a deep breath or count to ten before you say or do something impulsive. If you can, walk away from the situation and come back to it later when your mind is fresh.
  • If other people are making you feel stressed, it can help to put yourself in their position. Understanding how they feel and where they are coming from will reduce frustration on both sides and allow you to come up with compromises if necessary.
  • If the cause of stress is a deadline, project, or something of that nature, there are some ways you can go about making the stress manageable. Break it down into smaller portions, and reward yourself when you achieve your goals.
  • Find ways to deal with feelings of stress or being overwhelmed. These could include creative activities (such as writing or painting), sports, watching a funny movie, or even just squeezing a stress-ball. Even if you cannot take part in those activities during a stressful situation (for example, a heated conversation), the anticipation of them can help keep you calm.
  • Above all, know when to ask for help. No one ever said that you had to do this alone.


How to comfort a friend

More than likely, we have all been in a situation where a friend needs help and we are unsure about how to comfort them. It can be frustrating, disheartening, and stressful. However, there are a few simple things that you can do, no matter what your friend is facing.
  • Listen. It may sound obvious, but many times, people get so caught up in trying to offer good advice that they stop hearing what their friend is saying. Take the time to focus on the problem at hand and comprehend it fully. Ask questions if you are unsure of something. It will show your friend that you are truly interested in what they have to say.
  • Ask what you can do to help. Assuming you know what they need can be irritating to them and make your friend feel like you don't care. However, asking them what they need (a hug, some advice, a shoulder to cry on, etc.) will show them that you want to help them in whatever way they need and that you have their best interests at heart.
  • Be there. Sometimes, your friend will not know what they need straight away. Sometimes, people need to process things themselves before they can really figure out what they need from anyone else. If that is the case, let them do that. Simply remind them that you are there, no matter what, and let them come to you on their own terms. Sometimes, just knowing a friend is around can be exactly what people need.
  • Put yourself first. No matter how much you want to be there for your friend, you can't be helpful if you are struggling yourself. Remember that your needs are important as well and that you do need to take time to focus on yourself. You are not a bad friend for not being on-call 24/7. You are simply taking care of yourself so you can support your friend to the best of your abilities.


Pumpkin seeds

Pumpkins are selling in abundance at supermarkets, in readiness for Halloween. If you discard pumpkin seeds after carving jack-o-lanterns, think again. Pumpkin seeds have many uses and benefits. Here are some of the benefits, and one method of roasting them.
  • Pumpkin seeds contain important minerals and trace elements such as copper, iron, magnesium, phosphorous and zinc, which are all essential to bodily functions, for example, phosphorous is required for healthy bones, and zinc helps the immune system (although too much can inhibit it).
  • The seeds are a good source of protein, which is required by the body for building and repairing tissues.
  • Eating pumpkin seeds a few hours before bed time can promote a more restful sleep, due to its tryptophan (used by the body to produce serotonin) content.
  • Harvested pumpkin seeds can be enjoyed as a healthy snack, and can be roasted for extra flavour.
    • Remove the pulp from the seeds and rinse the seeds in a colander. Pat the seeds dry with paper towels.
    • Toss the seeds in olive oil and sprinkle on salt, or other seasonings of your choice.
    • Roast in an oven at 300 degrees Fahrenheit or 150 degrees Celsius for 20 minutes, until golden brown. (The temperature and time will vary according to the oven.) Keep an eye on the seeds, and allow to cool.


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.



Simple life reminders
Sometimes we overcomplicate things in life. This user shares some of life's simple truths in a creative way.

Lucid dreaming
A lucid dream is one in which the sleeper is aware that he/she is dreaming. If you have had any lucid dreams, share you experiences here!

There are many forms of expression. This user has posted a link to her poetry and photography. Perhaps it might inspire you to express yourself in different ways, too!

What musicals have you been to, what would you like to see, and what do you recommend?

Do you prefer reading series or standalone books?
When you pick up a book, is it usually a standalone book, or a book in a series? Share what you like to read here.



Planting flowers
Sometimes it's the small things that can make a big difference in our lives. This user planted flowers. Read this inspiring blog entry here.

Feeling pretty optimistic today
Writing down what we are grateful about in our day can increase positive emotions. Take some time to reflect on the good things in your day.


Social Groups

Depression hurts
Many of the struggles that we face are more common than we often think. This social group allows users to ask questions to educate themselves or gain advice on different aspects of depression.


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 Christabel


Upcoming events

Discussion: Self harm (Saturday October 19th 2013)

Self harm is a significant problem for many young people today. This discussion will explore alternatives, solutions and ways to seek advice in the face of this widespread and often misunderstood issue.

Discussion: Facing the challenges of growing up (Saturday October 26th 2013)

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: Dealing with parents
(Saturday November 2nd 2013)

Living with your parents can sometimes be a challenging experience, especially if they take it upon themselves to make your life difficult. Come along to this discussion to learn how to approach problems with your parents more effectively and make your home life more enjoyable.

Discussion: Building confidence and self-esteem (Saturday November 9th 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: Coping with bullying (Saturday November 16th 2013)

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.

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, Twitter and Tumblr

Our social networking 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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Twitter: http://www.teenhelp.org/twitter
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Editorial team

Newsletter Officer/Editor-in-Chief: Haley (Halcyon)
Assistant Editor: Lyndsee (Glitter.)
Assistant Editor: Sammi (Masquerade.)
Assistant Editor: Chess (Syzygy.)

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