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Newsletter #89 - Preventing and treating tick bites; things to do when the weather keeps you indoors; what to consider when buying a new phone.

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Posted August 23rd 2017 at 07:58 PM by TeenHelp

TeenHelp Newsletter

TeenHelp Newsletter #89 - August 23rd 2017 - 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.


TeenHelp Summer Awards (July 30th 2017)

TeenHelp is proud to announce that this year's Summer Awards go to:

Brittany (.Brittany.) - Brittany is active across the site and is always willing to get involved. She often works hard to motivate and support staff and users alike, sharing positive thoughts and compliments to brighten their days.

Chess (Psychomachia.) - Chess is, in the words of one nomination, “a source of comfort, compassion, and friendship”, and shows this everyday through the support she gives to users, while also moderating the forums in a “super kind and efficient” way.

Holly (Celyn) - Holly continues to provide huge dedication to HelpLINK and the Support Forums, responding to often problematic or difficult situations in a positive way, helping users “to look at things from a different perspective” and making their situations “seem less daunting to overcome”.

Sammi (Metanoia.) - Sammi has shown great commitment across the site, giving supportive advice to members “whether they post just once or they've been here for years.” As one nomination said, “She helps out wherever no matter what the user asks for.”

Tortellini (aguy) - Tortellini is extremely friendly and is always willing to chat to anybody who just needs someone to talk to, sharing positive messages with them even if he's never spoken to them before.

Congratulations to everybody who received an award!

TeenHelp wouldn't be the same without the dedicated team of staff members; thank you to all who devote their time to helping others around the site.



Latest articles (August 5th 2017)

Maintaining effective communication with your partner
While it can sometimes feel scary, it is important to communicate with your partner to keep your relationship healthy and strong. This article gives you tips to maintain effective communication in your relationship.

How to make a zen garden
Zen gardens, which are boxes filled with sand and other decorations, can be used as a calming mechanism. These gardens can be purchased in stores. However, you can also make your own zen garden, which makes it cheaper and more personalised. Read this to learn how to make your own zen garden.

Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia: A review
Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia is a novel about a girl named Eliza who is bullied at school and doesn't have a lot of friends besides those who are online. However, she also is the creator of a popular webcomic. During her senior year of high school, Wallace, who is a fan of Eliza's webcomic, transfers to the school and the two hit it off. Read this to learn the author of the article's opinion of the novel and decide whether or not it is something you would like to read yourself.




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.



The Compassionate Friends

The Compassionate Friends, based in the US, is an organisation devoted to supporting grieving families who have lost a child of any age. The website contains information about where to find local chapters, scheduled online chats, articles with helpful advice, and useful links and resources to websites and organisations around the world. If you have recently lost a child or sibling, you will no doubt find support, in a safe environment, amongst compassionate friends.



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.


Tick bite prevention and treatment

Even though ticks might be small, many of them are able to transfer illnesses such as Lyme disease if they bite you. Ticks are most active during the warmer months, so during this time it is important to try to prevent tick bites, remove ticks if you do get bitten, and know when to seek medical help.
  • Use tick repellent and protective clothing. Use an insect repellent that has at least 20% DEET or picaridin on any exposed skin to prevent ticks from biting. Clothing can also be treated with a product that contains permethrin. It is especially important to treat your socks, boots, and pants. Also treat your tent if you are camping. You can even purchase pre-treated clothing. Make sure to follow all directions when using a tick repellent on yourself or on your clothing.
  • To prevent ticks in your yard, make sure it is well-maintained. Mow your lawn regularly to prevent the grass from growing too long because ticks thrive in long grass. Remove leaf litter and any garbage or old furniture to keep ticks from hiding in it.
  • When walking or hiking, make sure to stay on the trail and avoid areas that have a lot of brush, tall grass, or leaf litter. Ticks are more likely to be found in these locations. Also be sure to wear clothes that cover as much skin as possible to prevent the tick from getting onto your skin.
  • When you return home from hiking or camping, check any gear and your pets to make sure they have not come in contact with ticks and remove them if they have. Tumble drying clothes on a high heat for at least ten minutes will help to kill the ticks.
  • Take a bath or a shower as soon as possible to wash off ticks. Then, use a mirror to check every area of your body for ticks, especially focusing on the underarms, ears, belly button, behind the knees, between the legs, in the hair, or around the waist.
  • If you find a tick, it is important to remove it as soon as possible to prevent the spread of disease. Use fine-tipped tweezers to get as close to the skin's surface as possible and pull up with steady, even pressure. Do not jerk or twist the tick because this may cause the mouth parts to stay in the skin. Clean the bite area with rubbing alcohol or soap and water. Then, dispose of the tick by submersing it in alcohol, putting it in a sealed container, flushing it down the toilet, or wrapping it in tape. Alternatively, some local health departments may be able to send the tick into the lab to test for Lyme disease Call your local health department to see if they provide this service.
  • Follow up with your doctor if you have any questions or concerns or if you develop symptoms such as fever and chills, aches and pains, or a rash. These signs may point to a tickborne illness.


What to do when the weather keeps you indoors

During certain weather conditions such as extreme cold or heat, it is sometimes best for you to stay indoors. However, staying cooped up for extended periods of time could be anxiety provoking. Here are a few things you can do with friends and family when the weather prevents you from spending time outdoors.
  • Have a family game day. Find some board games, look for some snacks, and spend your day playing games at the kitchen table. Playing games will allow you to spend time with your family and engage your brain. If you don't have board games, look for multiplayer games in the App Store or make up games of your own. You could also play games on a PC or other game console.
  • Watch a TV or movie marathon. During a cold, rainy day, watching movies with blankets and snacks can feel quite cozy. Let each friend or family member choose a movie or watch several episodes of your favourite TV show for some quality time together.
  • Spend time in the kitchen. Riffle through your pantry or refrigerator and cook or bake with friends and family. Cooking will allow you to spend time with someone and get a tasty meal or dessert at the end. If you don't have many ingredients in your home, see what you can make with what you do have.
  • Clean up around the house. Cleaning isn't enjoyable for everyone, but doing so can relieve anxiety for some. Think about chores you may have been neglecting around the house and split those responsibilities evenly with different people in your home. Cleaning can be more fun when you're doing it with other people.
  • Be present with each other. While spending time with one another is nice, sometimes doing your own thing while being present with each other is positive as well. For instance, within one room, people can be doing several different things such as watching TV, surfing the internet, doing homework, or reading a book. Being present with someone without having to do or say anything can be calming.
  • If you live alone, don't get along with the people you live with, or find yourself alone during bad weather, try engaging in some of the activities listed above. For instance, you could cook or bake, have a TV or movie marathon, and play games with online players. You could also practice self-soothing by doing activities that you find calming.


Buying a new mobile phone

Mobile phones (or cell phones) are now more versatile than ever before, meaning you can do many more things with just one device. However, with so many different mobile phones on the market today, it can be difficult to decide on the most suitable one for you. Here are some things to consider when buying a mobile phone.
  • Consider which features are most important to you. Do you just want a basic phone to make and receive calls and use text messaging, or do you need a phone with a long battery life because you intend to watch videos, listen to music or play games? Maybe the quality of the camera will be an important factor in choosing your phone.
  • Decide on an operating system, while considering the devices and services you currently use. If you already own an iPad, iPod or Apple Mac and have iTunes, it might make more sense to choose an iPhone as it's easier to synchronise all your information. However, if you use Google services, such as Gmail and Google Drive, you may find an Android phone more suited to your lifestyle. Go to a store and try out an Apple iOS, Google Android, BlackBerry OS, and Windows phone to give you a feel for the interface and how it operates.
  • Compare the specifications of a number of phones. If you want to watch videos or play games, check the pixels per inch (ppi) and screen resolution; the higher the number, the better. RAM and processor speed will also be important. If you want to take lots of photos or play music, storage might be more important to you; some phones have a Micro SD slot so that you can have additional storage.
  • Consider the visual aspects of the phone. Look at the size, weight and thickness of the phone. Ask yourself questions such as, do you want a phone that will fit in your pocket, or are you happy with carrying it in a bag, and will it fit comfortably in your hands? Do you want something that is water resistant?
  • Choose a mobile network carrier. Don't feel limited by your current mobile provider; if a different mobile carrier offers a better deal than your current plan, it is easy to switch. Think about your phone usage and if a contract will be more suitable for you, or if a Pay As You Go plan will work out cheaper in the long run.
  • Read reviews. Research trusted sources online and see how other people are getting on with their phones. Ask friends and family about the pros and cons of the phones they own.


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.



Thoughts on health class?
Health courses, available to many students, are informative about a variety of different topics such as drugs and alcohol, and emotional or sexual health. What are your thoughts on health courses? Join the discussion here.

Living in dorms and homesickness
Going away to school can be difficult for students in that they can miss their hometown, family, and friends. Read this user's questions about settling into a dorm as well as the helpful advice here.

Roasted cauliflower biryani with currants and roasted almonds
This is a tasty vegetarian recipe that can be enjoyed with friends and family. Take a look at the recipe and try it out for yourself when you're in the mood to try a new and delicious recipe.

Dumpster diving
Join in the debate on dumpster diving, which is where people will retrieve perfectly good food that stores throw away because it hasn't been used or is imperfect. This user asks whether you would dumpster dive. Share your thoughts, opinions, and concerns with 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 publications@teenhelp.org, or messaging our Newsletter Officer (Psychomachia.) on the website.

Picture by Smultroställe.


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, Instagram, Tumblr and Twitter

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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Editorial team

Publications Team Leader/Editor-in-Chief: Haley (Halcyon)
Newsletter Officer: Chess (Psychomachia.)
Senior Newsletter Editor: Cassie (Cassado)
Newsletter Editor: Chantal (WretatsyRemedial)
Newsletter Editor: Dez (~*Just Keep Swimming*~)
Newsletter Editor: Jenna (~Abibliophobe~)
Newsletter Editor: Sammi (Metanoia.)

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