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Newsletter #65 - Staff changes; how to reduce computer related eye strain; coping with travel anxiety

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Posted August 29th 2015 at 06:08 PM by TeenHelp

TeenHelp Newsletter

TeenHelp Newsletter #65 - August 29th 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.


Staff outstanding contribution awards (August 28th 2015)

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

Jessie (Palmolive) - Outstanding contribution to HelpLINK and the Support Forums. Jessie has been a HelpLINK Mentor for a number of years and is well known for giving fantastic detailed and compassionate advice in both HelpLINK and the Support Forums. Despite personal challenges, Jessie always tries to come back and help others when she can, which is really admirable and shows how dedicated she is.

Laura (Anglidash) - Outstanding contribution to providing support. Laura gives advice in a number of areas on the site including HelpLINK and the Support Forums. She is always eager to listen and support others, is caring and ensures her advice is tailored to each person.

Lizzie - Outstanding contribution for dedication/long service. Lizzie has been a Staff member for many years and has worked across a wide range of roles, including HelpLINK, as a Moderator and on various committees and projects. Lizzie has shown great dedication to the site. She always strives to solve problems and works hard to keep on top of things to the benefit of everybody.

Michael (In The Rye) - Outstanding contribution for a newcomer. Michael hasn't been volunteering for very long, but has already proved himself to be very friendly and welcoming to new users as well as posting thorough advice in the Support Forums especially the Education and Careers forum.

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.


New Project Officers and Staff changes (August 17th 2015)

Project Officers

TeenHelp is pleased to welcome the following Project Officers. All are existing Staff members who are very capable and dedicated. We congratulate them and wish them all the best in their new role.
  • Volunteering Officer - Lizzie - Responsible for volunteering and supporting other Officers.
  • Forums and Community Officer - Dez (*~Sparkly Queer~*) - Responsible for Support Forums, Blogs, Social Groups, Albums, Community Mentors (Buddies) and Moderators who work in these areas.
  • Chat Officer - Sarah (eaty) - Responsible for the Chat Room, FCRDs, Chat Mentors and Chat Moderators.
  • HelpLINK Officer - Nicole (eumoirous) - Responsible for HelpLINK, HelpLINK Mentors and HelpLINK Moderators.
  • Live Help Officer - Louise (LlamaLlamaDuck) - Responsible for Live Help and Live Help Mentors.
All of these roles will be supported by Robin (PSY).

Other Staff changes

In order to have more consistency across Staff roles, two positions have been re-named.
  • Live Help Operators will now be Live Help Mentors.
  • Buddies will now be Community Mentors.
The duties of Community Mentors will be broadly the same as they are now, which includes being responsible for helping out in areas where there are no other Mentors, especially Support Forums, Blogs, Social Groups and Albums, but also the Chat Room.

Disputes Committee closure

The Disputes Committee has now been closed, and their responsibilities have been handed to our team of Project Advisors. This was done in an effort to streamline moderating procedures, and reduce confusion about who is responsible for what and who to contact.


Latest articles (August 9th 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:

Effective goal-setting

It is important for people to set goals because they give people something to work for. This article explains how to set a clearly planned goal.

Caitlyn Jenner's journey

Caitlyn Jenner's process of transitioning has been closely followed by the media. Read this article to learn more about Jenner's transition and the impact it had on the transgender community.

Staying cool during the summer

While the summer months can be fun, it is important for your health to remain cool when temperatures rise. This article tells you how to stay safe and cool during the summer.

Medication to treat mental health disorders

The decision to take medication to treat a mental health disorder is not one that should be taken lightly. This article explains some things to consider when thinking about starting a medication to treat a mental health disorder.




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.



Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM)

CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably) is a charity that aims to prevent male suicide, and offers support to men in the UK via a helpline and their website. There is also a webchat available from 5pm to midnight everyday; the helpline is also only available during these times. CALM also has informative articles written on a range of topics such as alcohol and drugs, gambling, suicide, self harm and many more.



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 read more

The benefits of reading is manifold; it increases your knowledge and gives you more to talk about, expands your vocabulary, helps to reduce stress, and much more. However, with many leading busy lives, many people find it difficult to find the time to read. Here are some tips on how you can read more.
  • Find reading material that interests you. Ask for recommendations from family and friends, and visit a library or bookstore to see what's available. Be careful not to make reading a chore for yourself; if you are not enjoying a book, move on to a different book, but do give it a chance first.
  • Incorporate it into your daily routine. Try starting the day by reading at breakfast. If you watch the news on the TV in the morning, try reading a newspaper instead. You could even read while doing certain activities at the gym, for example, cycling. Finally, set aside some time to read before you go to sleep. Choose a story, rather than complex material, to relax you before you sleep.
  • Carry reading material with you. If you're waiting for a bus, or waiting for an appointment, you can use that precious time to read. You may wish to consider investing in a device so you can read eBooks, which tends to be more portable than a book.
  • Set yourself a daily goal. If you haven't read for a while, you might want to start with 10 pages a day, and slowly build up to more. Keep track of your progress and a list of books you want to read next. (There are websites, such as Goodreads, that are designed exactly for that purpose.)


How to reduce computer related eye strain

Eye strain is painful, and thought to be unavoidable for people who spend a lot of time looking at their computer or other devices. Fortunately, eye strain can be prevented or reduced with these tips.
  • Reposition your computer if possible. You shouldn't be too close or too far away from your screen. Staying at least two feet away from your screen is ideal. If you feel the need to get closer, consider getting an eye exam. Don't look down at your screen, as it will cause neck pain. You should be looking straight at your screen.
  • Change the lighting and the computer settings. Natural light is better for using the computer. It is best to have natural light surrounding the side of your screen. If you're unable to use natural light, dim your artificial light. Too much of it can cause you to strain your eyes. Change the computer's brightness to a level that is comfortable for you.
  • Blink more often. Blinking keeps the eyes moisturised, thus helping to prevent eye strain.
  • Take breaks every fifteen to twenty minutes. Take this time to focus on immobile objects for several seconds at a time. This will help refocus your eyes.


How to cope with travel anxiety

For some people, travelling means stepping out of their comfort zone and into the unknown. This can generate feelings of anxiety before and during the trip. Here are some tips on how to cope with travel anxiety.
  • Identify the cause. Try to figure out what actually causes your travel anxiety. Are you worried about forgetting something? Are you worried about the actual journey? Write down the causes so that you can start to alleviate some of your worries. For example, if you're worried about forgetting something, you can prepare a checklist to assist you with packing.
  • Pick a destination that suits your temperament. If you don't like big crowds, a busy city might make you more anxious, so a countryside location might be better. Then gradually work towards leaving your comfort zone.
  • Be prepared and plan your trip. Do your research early and book anything you know you're going to need in advance, such as flights and accommodation. Write a checklist of the things you need to do before leaving, such as checking the windows are closed. It is also useful to prepare a panic attack plan with a list of coping strategies you can use if anxiety sets in.
  • Distract yourself. During the journey, do something you can immerse yourself in, to distract you from anxiety-inducing thoughts. For example, you could listen to music, read a book, or do a Sudoku puzzle.
  • Bring something comforting. Pack something that makes you smile and soothes you, such as a special photo or your favourite pillow, to make you feel more at home.


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.



Your reasons for recovery?
Are you looking for reasons to recover from your eating disorder? Discover new reasons to recover and share your own!

Dogs or cats?
Are you more of a dog person or a cat person? This thread allows you to share your opinion on which furry friend is your favourite.

Would you meet an Internet friend in person?
The internet can be a great way to make good friends. Would you meet an online friend in person? Explain your answer and see what others have to say!

Online courses
Many students take online courses in university, or alongside work to top up their knowledge. Have you taken any online courses? Share your experiences with online courses here.


Social Groups

Marvel/DC Superheroes Unite
Believe it or not, superhero lovers are not only children but many teens and adults as well. If you are a fan of superheroes of any kind, then this group is for you.

Soccer Lovers!
Are you a fan of soccer and enjoy watching or playing soccer? Join this group to meet other soccer lovers and to discuss the sport!


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 Calico.


Upcoming events

Discussion: Living with alternative diets (Saturday August 29th 2015)

If you have a diet that is different to the norm, whether through personal preference or not, you might find yourself struggling in ways that others do not. This discussion will give you a place to discuss challenges with others, gain support or work out ways around problems with your lifestyle. You might benefit from this discussion if you're vegetarian/vegan, have allergies or diabetes, or are from a cultural/religious background that means you need to adapt your diet.

Discussion: Building positive relationships (Saturday September 5th 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: Social anxiety (Saturday September 12th 2015)

Social anxiety is the intense feeling of discomfort and fear of social situations. It is more than just shyness or feeling nervous, and it can be very debilitating for the sufferer. This discussion will help you to share and develop coping mechanisms, combat your fears, and learn to help others living with social anxiety.

Discussion: Eating disorders (Saturday September 19th 2015)

Eating disorders can affect anyone at any time, can be devastating for your physical and mental health. Join our discussion to discuss the different kinds of eating disorders and to find out what we can do to ensure that we are free from eating disorders, and carry on with our everyday lives.

Discussion: Living with mental illness (Saturday September 26th 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.



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
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Editorial team

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

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