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Newsletter #62 - Volunteer for TeenHelp; making the most of your vacation; building a terrarium

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Posted May 19th 2015 at 05:34 PM by TeenHelp

TeenHelp Newsletter

TeenHelp Newsletter #62 - May 19th 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.


Volunteers needed (May 15th 2015)

TeenHelp is run entirely by volunteers and we are always looking for new people to join and help us out. We have a number of unique volunteering opportunities available, no matter your level of experience or knowledge.

If you're interested in providing support and advice you could become a HelpLINK Mentor or Live Help Operator. If you would like to help users get what they need from TeenHelp and feel part of the community, you could become a Buddy. If you are passionate about writing and want to contribute to the ever-growing articles base, consider joining our Articles Team. Or, if you enjoy leading others in discussions about important topics, you could become a Chat Mentor or Facilitator.

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. For further details please visit our Volunteer page.



Staff outstanding contribution awards (May 4th 2015)

TeenHelp is pleased to announce that this month's Staff outstanding contribution awards go to:

Adam (Adam the Fish) - Outstanding contribution to the Articles Team. Adam is currently our Senior Article Editor, and with good reason! Adam has devoted his energy to editing articles, a time-consuming task that can seem deceptively simple to others. What's truly impressive is that Adam continues to remain active in the Forums and elsewhere on the site despite the amount of work that goes into his primary role!

Traci (Coffee.) - Outstanding contribution to educating users. Traci is being recognised for the wealth of knowledge she shares with TeenHelp's users. Traci candidly discusses sexual health and relationships site-wide in order to assist users in making good choices for themselves. As well as this Traci has sought to educate our Staff members, helping to clarify moderating procedures to ensure consistency. Overall Traci's efforts have helped to raise awareness across the site.

Haley (Halcyon) - Outstanding contribution to quality and publications. Haley has been a Staff member for many years but much of what she does happens behind the scenes. Most of her time has been spent successfully running TeenHelp's Newsletter, but more recently she has taken on our Articles and Resources too. Her ongoing dedication has kept TeenHelp publishing new content regularly and maintains high standards for all work, which has a direct positive impact on users who read our pieces. Despite ongoing demands in these areas Haley never complains and instead just gets on with the tasks at hand. Without her hard work we wouldn't have the great range of quality materials we have on the site now.

Louise (LlamaLlamaDuck) - Outstanding contribution to supporting Staff. Louise has been a Project Advisor for over two and a half years. In that time, she has gone above and beyond in supporting our team of Staff members in a variety of ways. Most notably, Louise has been very active in the Discussion Forums and as a member of the Disputes and Volunteering Committees. TeenHelp runs much more smoothly thanks to her hard work every day!

Congratulations to everyone who received an award!

All Staff members play an important part in the day-to-day running of TeenHelp, and it wouldn't be the same without them.


Latest articles (May 3rd 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:

Tips for a successful time in university

Starting university can feel scary. There will be a larger workload, more activities to do, and more responsibility. However, you don't have to struggle! Read this to learn ways to be successful and have a good time in the university setting.

The common misconceptions of PTSD

Many people do not know what it means to have PTSD due to the many misconceptions surrounding the disorder. This article debunks myths surrounding PTSD and gives information on what it is truly like to have it.

Creating a safe place

A safe place is a physical or mental area that allows people time to relax and refocus. It can give a person a space to cope with life events or to escape for a while. Read this to learn more about what a safe place is and how to create one of your own.

Getting back together

Whether or not to get back together with an ex is a decision that should be considered carefully and should take time. Both parties must decide whether or not it is worth getting back together, or how to best go about getting back together. This article explains what you need to know about re-entering a relationship with an ex.




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.




Mindyourmind is a website that provides comprehensive information about different mental illnesses and its treatments, and how to get help. It also contains a number of interactive tools, including stress busters, resources to help you cope, and educational materials. The website also gives you the opportunity to share your story or express yourself in the form of art or poetry. This is a great resource for those struggling with mental illnesses.



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 make the most of vacationing with family/friends

The time for vacationing with family and friends is fast approaching. This can be exciting and also nerve-racking at the same time. Here are some tips to consider when going on a vacation with family/friends.
  • Be prepared for changes. When vacationing with someone, things may not necessarily go entirely your way. Everyone has different ways and opinions of what to do on vacations and how to make the most out of their trip. Be open to changes and compromise with others.
  • Don't be afraid to express discomfort. It's okay to not agree with 100% of the things your friends or family might do. Don't feel like you have to go along with everything and do things outside of your comfort zone; it you aren't comfortable with a certain activity, speak up and explain why. At the say time time, try not to sound too picky about it either.
  • Respect the space you are sharing. Do your best to not be messy wherever you are going; on a road trip, camping, or sharing a hotel room. Clean up after yourself and stay neat. Take ownership and be responsible.


How to build a terrarium

Terrariums are glass containers that have small plants, usually succulents and cacti in them. Building a terrarium is an easy, fun activity for any time of the year but particularly in spring when plants begin to bloom again. Terrariums are a great way to add some colour to your living space without requiring a lot of responsibility as they only have to be watered every couple of weeks.
  • First, gather your supplies. You'll need a glass jar or container, some soil, some sand, moss, plants, and rocks which are optional but can be used for decoration. You'll want at least enough soil and to fill the container about an inch of space each. Ensure your plants can fit into the opening of your container.
  • Begin by cleaning your glass container. Ensure you rinse it thoroughly so that no chemicals remain which can poison your plants.
  • Next, fill the very bottom of your container with rocks. This will help the water drain and prevent the plants from taking up too much water.
  • Add a layer of soil. The amount will depend on your container, but you want to fill up most of the space with the soil so there is plenty of room for the plant roots. You can use store bought soil, or just soil from your backyard because succulents, cacti, moss, and seedum cuttings are all hardy plants.
  • Add a small layer of sand. This will help to soak up the water and also add some colour to your terrarium.
  • Put some moss around the edges of your container. Use as much or as little as you want.
  • Place your biggest succulent or cactus in the centre of your terrarium. Make sure that the roots are buried in the sand or soil.
  • Place all other plants around the larger plant and between the moss. These other plants can include seedum cuttings, or more succulents and cacti. Make sure to go from largest to smallest to ensure you can fit everything.
  • Lastly, add in some decorations. These can include more rocks, or small figurines.


Leaving school - starting an apprenticeship

Before you graduate from school, you will need to explore all the options available to make an informed decision on what to do next. Some choose to find a job straight away, while others decide to go to university, take a gap year, volunteer, or start an apprenticeship. Here are some benefits for choosing the apprenticeship route.
  • Earn while you learn. You won't need to take out a student loan, as there are no tuition fees. Although you might start off on minimum wage, as your skills increase, your pay might also.
  • Relevant and practical experience and training. The training is structured and the skills you learn will be relevant to the job. You will also gain valuable hands-on experience in the workplace.
  • Recognised qualifications. You will be able to attain qualifications that are recognised by any employer of the same field. You may even be able to attain higher qualifications such as a foundation or honours degree.
  • Plenty of choice. There are many different types of apprenticeships spanning a variety of industries. Some include: business and administration, construction, customer service, engineering, health and social care, hairdressing, retail, and much more.
  • Good career prospects. You may have the opportunity to stay working in the same organisation, but if you can't, you'll have the industry experience and skills to find a similar job, and an advantage over other applicants.


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.



The chatroom
Google Chrome no longer supports the plugin that allows Java to run. Due to this, members who use Google Chrome may face problems entering the Chat Room. This thread explains how to solve the problem.

What animal?
Do you have any pets in your household? What kind of pets do you have, and what are their names? Tell us about your pets here!

Easy to make recipes
Almost everyone loves a meal or a snack that requires little to no effort to make! Share your recipes, and read about other recipes here.

What is your race?
A user's curiosity influenced them to ask others to share their race. What is your race? Vote on the poll and share with others here.



Writing my own book
Have you ever thought about writing your own book or story? If so this entry is about a user starting to write their own book based on a television series called Castle.

The element of surprise
Surprises can be both good and bad, and this entry talks about a recent surprise that a user had. If you have experienced a surprise recently then why not blog about it and share it with others?


Social Groups

Having nieces and nephews
Having a niece or nephew can be an incredibly rewarding experience. Join this group to share stories, photos, and other memorable moments you have had with your niece or nephew, or to share the excitement of having a niece or nephew on the way!

Reading is an activity that many people enjoy. There are a variety of genres and lengths of books to choose from. This group is for avid readers who wish to discuss their favourite books and get recommendations from others.


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 2hot4u


Upcoming events

Discussion: Dealing with triggers (Saturday May 23rd 2015)

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.

Discussion: Effective study skills (Saturday May 30th 2015)

If you are aspiring to achieve good grades throughout your school life, it is important to adopt effective study skills. This discussion will help you to develop good study habits, including creating the optimum study environment, avoiding distractions, time management, and more, as well as answering any questions that you may have.

Discussion: Finding hope and thinking positively (Saturday June 6th 2015)

When the burdens of life keep coming at you, it can sometimes be difficult to find the energy and courage to keep going. Come to this discussion to find ways to think more positively and stay strong through the hard times.

Discussion: Building positive relationships (Saturday June 13th 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: Achieving positive body image (Saturday June 20th 2015)

Our body image is how we feel about our bodies, and does not depend on our size or shape. Achieving a positive body image can be difficult, but you are not alone. Join this discussion to learn how to resist the social pressures and the media, and to feel comfortable and good about your body.

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!

Facebook: http://www.teenhelp.org/facebook
Twitter: http://www.teenhelp.org/twitter
Tumblr: http://www.teenhelp.org/tumblr


Editorial team

Publications Team Leader/Editor-in-Chief: Haley (Halcyon)
Senior Newsletter Editor: Chess (*~Glittery Queer~* )
Newsletter Editor: Cassie (Calico.)
Newsletter Editor: Dez (*~Sparkly Queer~* )
Newsletter Editor: Jenny (coolkid98)
Newsletter Editor: Nicole (eumoirous)
Newsletter Editor: Rishy (Saiyouri)

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