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Newsletter #60 - New Staff role; talking to your family about sensitive issues; choosing a pet that suits you

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Posted March 22nd 2015 at 04:23 PM by TeenHelp

TeenHelp Newsletter

TeenHelp Newsletter #60 - March 22nd 2015 - 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, new resources, 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.


New Team Leader role (March 15th 2015)

TeenHelp has introduced two new Staff roles, and is pleased to welcome Robin (PSY) as the Operations Team Leader and Haley (Halcyon) as the Publications Team Leader.

Robin will be leading TeenHelp's advice services and other general operations including the Support Forums, Chat Room, HelpLINK and Live Help, while Haley will be leading the Newsletter, Articles, Resources and other editorial and general communications on the site.

Both Robin and Haley have been volunteers on TeenHelp for several years and have proven themselves to be dedicated and enthusiastic staff members. We look forward to their continued contribution to the site and wish them all the best in their new roles.



Latest articles (March 2nd 2015)

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:

The basics of creative writing

Creative writing can be difficult for many, but it has many benefits. This article talks about the fundamental aspects of creative writing, including its benefits, the different types of writing, ways to approach it, finding inspiration, and more.

Coping with triggers

Many of us have certain things that trigger us, causing certain negative emotions and subsequent reactions. These feelings are often difficult to overcome. This article talks about triggers and how to cope with them.

How to make a calming jar

Interested in arts and crafts? This article shows you, step-by-step, how to make a calming jar. The jar itself is greatly beneficial especially in helping with unhealthy coping mechanisms. It is also a great way to keep you occupied, and makes a colourful table decoration too!

Dating a person with a mental illness

Many people around the world deal with mental illnesses and often the illness can get in the way of pursuing a stable, healthy relationship. This article talks about how to build a good relationship.



TeenHelp infographics (February 14th 2015)

TeenHelp's first infographic (in a series of many) has been published. These will be featured on TeenHelp's social media pages, Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr, and will include short helpful tips.

If you would like to see a topic covered in an infographic, please email us at contact@teenhelp.org, or message our Communications Officer (LlamaLlamaDuck) on the website.



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.



Menstrual Calendar

The Menstrual Calendar is an application that allows you to log your menstruation period, weight, medical appointments, medication, and days you've been sexually active - all in an effort to keep things organized. Menstrual Calendar also allows you to keep a diary, log other important information, and keep everything entered into the application private with extra security settings. This application is considered suitable for people aged 12 and over, and is very user friendly.

Available for free on Apple and Android devices through their application stores.


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 talk to your family about sensitive issues

There are certain things that are difficult to keep away from the people who are closest to us. We are often in situations in which telling the truth and bringing up a personal issue is terrifying but we have to do it. Here are some tips on how to overcome that anxious feeling.
  • Be practical and careful of what you say - How you deliver the message and bring up the matter to the person or people is very important. Think about appropriate tone, mood, word choice, body language and movement. Small things like this and its appropriate use can bring different meanings to what you are planning to say, so be careful and think about the tone and also the setting or environment where you are planning to share the issue.
  • Be direct and factual - Once you pass the first stage and share the issue, be prepared for questions, a debate, or in general, opinions and comments. Sharing sensitive issues often raises questions and concern among family so in order to be clear, be honest and tell them the facts.
  • Be open to ideas for a solution - Sometimes coming to a suitable solution can take a long time, depending on the issue and how your family takes it. But nothing is impossible and things will take time to get settled. Be open to ideas your family suggests and to trying out new things to help resolve what's going on.


How to choose a pet that suits you

There are many things to consider when deciding on the right pet for you and your lifestyle, and it can be difficult to know where to start. Here are a few ideas to help you make a responsible and informed decision.
  • Think about why you want a pet. If you want an exercise partner, thereís no use getting a fish; if you want a low-maintenance addition to the family, then getting a dog is probably not a good idea. Choose a pet that makes sense in the context of your reason for wanting one.
  • Evaluate how long you will be able to care for a pet. If you add a pet to your family, you have to be willing and able to care for it for the duration of its life. For some species, such as mice or fish, this might only be a couple of years; for others, like parrots or turtles, you could be looking at upwards of fifty years. Be sure to plan ahead so that the pet can stay with you for all of its life.
  • Determine how much time and space you have. Will the pet be left on its own for long periods? Will it have access to a yard? Will you be able to take the time to train it if necessary? Some animals are more solitary than others, some need more attentive care, some take up more space Ė think about all of these aspects and, as honestly as you can, evaluate how much time you can give to your pet each day, and how much space you can offer them.
  • Consider how much the pet is likely to cost. This will include the basics such as food and veterinary care, as well as enclosures, toys, grooming supplies, and other necessities particular to your petís needs. Some pets may also require more specialised care, for example regulating temperature for reptiles and monitoring tank environments for tropical fish. Find out as much as you can beforehand so that you can accurately prepare for these items in your budget as well as your schedule.
  • Finally, think about how the pet will fit into your family. Do you have other pets or children? Do you often have friends over? Do you keep irregular hours? Itís important to choose a pet that fits in with your lifestyle, so make sure you think about what kind of household it will be entering into and whether it is truly suitable for that kind of environment. If you plan ahead, having a pet can be a rewarding and entertaining experience, but only if you pick the pet thatís best for you.


Who can help me pick a major/minor that is most suitable for me?

Picking a major and/or minor that will fit you and become more than just a degree Ė a passion, can sometimes be challenging to do. You typically find yourself entering a new environment (like university or college) and that alone is enough to deal with, but you also have to pick what field you would like to enter into. Fortunately, there are many different resources located at most universities and colleges that will guide you to the major and/or minor that will best suit you.
  • Academic advisors are personnel who are there specifically for picking classes and helping you achieve your goal: obtaining a degree. Academic advisors are highly educated about your university, the classes offered, and the best and worst majors to get into. Schedule an appointment or stop by your academic advisor's office to see if they can help you find a major/minor best for you.
  • Most, if not all, universities and colleges offer a counselling centre. Surprisingly, most counselling centres offer more than just counselling services. Many of them will offer special programs/conferences to help tackle issues such as time management and stress. In addition to that, many counselling centres offer tests/quizzes and other items to see what career field may suit you best, and then help you pick a major and minor to adhere to that.
  • Professors and instructors are also a great resource to get an inside look into their career path. Many professors and instructors are willing to meet with students who donít even take their classes Ė meaning, you have the opportunity to get to know the faculty in different majors/minors for free, so use that to your advantage when considering what field to pursue.


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.



There is still kindness in the world
One user shares a video of a 'pay it forward' scheme in operation, a heartwarming story to remind us that there is still kindness in the world. Check this thread out to be inspired.

Cover letter
Writing cover letters can be difficult, but is a requirement when applying for jobs at many organisations. Read this thread to find out some helpful suggestions and ideas to consider when writing a cover letter.

Playing a sport no one expects
Have you ever played a sport that surprises people when they find out? Tell us about it here!

Do you believe that aliens exist? Share your views here, and see what other users have to say.



Sunsets and sunrises
Take a look at this album for some stunning photographs of sunsets and sunrises submitted by one of our users.

Be thankful, be happy, be positive
One user shares lots of inspirational quotes and images, which can help to remind you that there are so many reasons to be thankful, happy and positive when times are hard.


Social Groups

Dislikers of social networks
Do you feel like the only one who doesn't live at the speed of social networking? Join this group to talk to other people who prefer to stay well clear of social networks, and discuss your feelings and thoughts on the matter.

Sign language lovers
Do you know sign language or are you thinking about learning? You might like this group designed for people interested in any kind of sign language, where you can talk about the subject and learn from others who enjoy it too.


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 Publications Team Leader (Halcyon) on the website.

Picture by Adalia Rose


Upcoming events

Discussion: Building positive relationships (Saturday March 21st 2015)

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: Online safety (Saturday March 28th 2015)

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: Handling negative emotions (Saturday April 4th 2015)

Negative emotions include sadness, anger, jealousy and hate. These feelings are natural, but they can also be destructive if they are not dealt with appropriately. This discussion will help you to find ways to deal with these negative emotions so that they are not detrimental to your life.

Discussion: Living with mental illness (Saturday April 11th 2015)

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 are 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.

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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Editorial team

Publications Team Leader/Editor-in-Chief: Haley (Halcyon)
Senior Newsletter Editor: Chris (Chris)
Newsletter Editor: Chess (*~Skittles Martinski~* )
Newsletter Editor: Rishy (Saiyouri)

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