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Newsletter #100 - 20th Anniversary Competition; TeenHelp in 20 years.

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Posted July 16th 2018 at 12:55 AM by TeenHelp
Updated July 16th 2018 at 01:38 AM by Rob

TeenHelp Newsletter

TeenHelp Newsletter #100 - July 15th 2018 - http://www.teenhelp.org

Welcome to the 100th edition of the Newsletter, celebrating 20 years of helping teens and young adults around the world.

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.


20th Anniversary Competition winner (15th July 2018)

We were delighted to see the entries to our competition and although it was a very tough decision, decided to name the winner as Holly (Celyn), whose vision for the future of TeenHelp was fascinating! You can read the winning entry and all the other entries below.


TeenHelp in 20 years time
By Holly (Celyn)

It’s been a while since I ‘checked in’ at my second home. Well, I’m here visiting my actual childhood home and it’s brought back a lot of memories. Some happy, some sad. Having an adult perspective looking at my childhood house, my bedroom and all my childhood memories brings back many different and conflicting emotions. I lie down on my bed, thoughts churning. Childhood friends that I no longer talk to, collide with ex boyfriends and other important people from my past. I remember coming home all upset after my first relationship ended and not having a clue what to do, I turned to the internet. Tears spilling down my face, I typed ‘Teen help’ into Google. I’ll always remember how fascinated I was with the forums….that such a place could exist for young people to come together and support each other. I grew so attached to a few web pages, the stories and the people behind them that I called it my second home. I wonder what it’s like now, some 20 years later? Curious, I reach for my bag on the floor and pull out my virtual reality glasses.

In a few blinks, I’m standing outside a large, blue bricked building, with a darker blue roof, and contrasting orange windows and a large orange double door that was always open. I smiled, knowing that I was ‘home’. The doors open to a bustling room filled with all sorts of people- young and old. Some shy, others are excitedly chatting, keen to make friends. I wave and say ‘hello’ to as many people as I can, before I am greeted by someone in green, wearing a ‘community mentor’ badge. The reception was open planned, and there were two large stair cases- one on the left, and one on the right.

I am given a key to my room and the community mentor guides me up the stairs on the left, while asking how I’m feeling. I explain that I’m here on a whim so I’m excited and nervous to find out what TeenHelp is like some 20 years since I last visited. Will things still feel the same despite that we’ve entered the era of virtual reality?

I open a door with my username on it and am greeted with a rustic cabin in shades of pink and purple on the walls- my profile. There is a mural of howling wolves on one wall, while another holds photos of TeenHelp friends and sticky notes of messages they left. Making my way around the room, I open a locker and find hundreds of letters all filed away. Newsletters, articles, personal letters from friends, others asking for help and even ones pertaining to former staff duties! I even found my blog (in diary form) too! I take a moment to be consumed by all the memories and emotions. I’m amazed that everything is still here, just as I left it!

I needed to see more. I’m glad that everything from my past is still here 20 years later, but how exactly does a forum translate into a world of virtual reality?

I found my answer when I headed out the door and towards the second set of steps leading off from the reception. At the top of the stairs, on the right was a small room. I peaked in and realised it was a cloakroom. Intrigued, I stepped inside. There were loads of coat hooks…but no coats. At least, none that I could see. I noticed a sign that said ‘INVISIBLE CLOAKS: For anonymity’. I imagine that people who want help but want to remain anonymous greatly appreciate these cloaks.

Excited, I tip toed out and through another set of doors. I was greeted by two corridors in opposite directions. I wandered down one and came across a hexagonal-shaped room with doors on each side. I worked my way around the room and peered into the windows on the doors. I gasped. Everything was so….realistic! One room was like a library, piled high with books, but with many tables and people helping each other with homework, revision and resumes. Another was like a concert hall and many people were showcasing their art whether that was music, paintings or stories while the crowd looked on in awe. There was even a kitchen with people cooking and sharing recipes (and yes, you could smell the yummy food!)

I left, determined to see what the second corridor offered, but wanting to be sensitive as though TeenHelp is a fun place, it’s also a place where people come for support too. Down the second corridor, I entered another hexagonal shaped room. The doors didn’t have windows this time, but they were always slightly ajar, so people could come and go as they pleased. I crept into one room. People in pink were taking letters from a noticeboard, and writing replies, before putting them in envelopes in pigeonholes. It was a peaceful room, and the mentors worked as a team to reply to all the letters they received. A bit like Santa’s elves now I come to think of it! The next room was more private. I couldn’t see much beyond the cubicles, but I imagine that people would sit opposite a mentor who would listen and support them. In another were more notice boards where people had written in, and members and staff alike would write back offering their support and words of wisdom. Both staff and members would also walk around the room and help each other, even if all they could do was offer a hug (which I heard also felt real!)

I was so pleased to see that TeenHelp was still thriving, still supportive and had adjusted well to this new technology. I took off my virtual reality glasses and sighed. Since this was my childhood bedroom, I managed to fire up my old computer. I typed ‘TeenHelp’ into my browser wanting to see if the forum was still around and sure enough, up popped the familiar blue forum. I noticed I had a notification. ‘Welcome back’ it read, and I smiled.


Runner Ups

What will TeenHelp look like in 20 years?
By Romaness

I glanced at my watch. 6.18 pm. Never had I thought the conference would last so long and I was starving.

I unlocked the door and the pendant hung on the keys scrunched. It was a charm I got from my boyfriend once, a tiny jingling foal with its muscles rippled in full gallop. I entered our apartment, threw my handbag on the couch and sat nearby. I was exhausted after the whole day.

I thought about visiting TeenHelp to wind down. I grabbed a bite to eat from the kitchen, an old pancake with some chocolate butter spread on it, and headed to the dining room. There were pictures from different parts of the world hanging on its peach-coloured walls: watercolours from Istanbul and Edinburgh, an oil canvas from St. Petersburg, acrylics from Rio de Janeiro, Los Angeles and Rome. The room was filled with unnecessary lumber, but we never had time nor will to clean it up.

I grasped a miniature cobalt box from the counter and placed it on my palm. I entered a three-digit-code and it opened; a sky-blue glow surrounded the lid.

‘Good evening, Romaness’ a warm female voice greeted me. ‘What would you like to do today?’
‘Hi’ I answered wearily. ‘Get me to TeenHelp, please.’

I heard a few beeping sounds and suddenly a glimmering wall popped up in front of me. It was a huge violet-tinged hologram, divided into a few sections: the website itself, my operating system profile, settings, calendar. The daybook showed July 2038.

‘The forums’ I muttered. Suddenly there was a tinkling bell sound and a smaller window appeared on the hologram. I saw the face of my friend, Harper, on a video call. Her complexion was scattered with freckles, her fiery hair braided.
‘Hello Harper!’ I called and smiled. ‘How are you doing?’
‘Hi. I wanted to ask how the conference went’ her voice was a bit distorted through the speakers.
‘Not bad, thank you. It took too long, though’ I sighed. ‘Have you heard about the competition for TeenHelp’s 40th birthday?’
Without waiting for her response I snapped my fingers and heard a rolling sound. The kitchen robot passed the corridor and stood next to me.
‘Would you like something to eat or drink, madam?’ it asked me gratingly.
‘Yes please, get me a coffee macchiato. Harper, anything for you?’
‘Yeah, a cappuccino, thanks.’
The robot nodded and left the room.
‘I’ve seen the announcement about it’ I heard Harper’s voice. ‘Are you going to write anything?’
‘Maybe’ I giggled. ‘What about you? I want to see your artworks there!’
She smirked and shrugged her shoulders.
‘The coffee’s ready’ I grabbed the cups from the robot’s outstretched arm and handed one to my friend. The screen shimmered when the physical body moved through it and suddenly the beverage popped up in Harper’s hand.
‘Thank you’ she took a sip. ‘As hot as I love it.’
‘Sorry, Harper, but I gotta go’ I said, resigned. ‘I’m so tired after this conference.’
‘Sure. Rest well. We’ll talk soon’ she grinned and hanged up.

I browsed through TeenHelp for a few more minutes and switched off the hologram. The site has changed through the years: it was far more technologically advanced than twenty years ago, but so was the whole world. I could contact my TeenHelp friends more easily. However, one thing hasn’t changed and I didn’t believe it would in the next two decades: the aim of the site and the amiability of its community.


Express your hopes and dreams for where you'd like to be in 20 years
By Crystal (Svisttt)

Dear future me,

This is something I do every year.

Every year around my birthday, I write a letter to myself for the next year (although... I suppose in this case it'll be for when I'm in my 30s). I neglected doing that this year, and I guess this is my way of making up for it. Granted, I should be doing this some other day, and not at 2 in the morning whilst horribly sleep deprived, but I decided this took priority over rest for a little while. Mostly because this is due really soon... but let's not acknowledge my laziness right now. I promise, I'll get some sleep soon.

I guess I wanted to start this off by saying I care about you.

I know, that's not really something I say very often- quite the opposite, if I'm being honest. But I love you and genuinely care about your well being, and I really hope you're in a good place right now. You deserve it!

The past few years have been a bit rough, for no real reason (which I hope you're not still beating yourself up over). I feel... I don't know if selfish is the right word, but I'll go with it anyways- I feel selfish whenever I talk to other people about my problems, like I'm a bother that's just going to ruin their day, so there's no real point in making a big deal out of things. Partially, that's why I write these letters. It allows me to get things out while still giving me that disconnect from myself.

I don't want you to write these letters just for that reason, though.

I want you to write about all the bads in your life, and the goods. And god, there's so much good. You have people who love you, everyone does, and you're precious. You being alive right now means something. You mean something.

You're not selfish, and neither am I, no matter how much I tell myself that.

Enough of that mushy stuff, though. I really hope you've kept up with writing and doing art (if you haven't, get on that girl!), and that you're still trying to share it out with the world. I know it's a bit scary sharing things you've created, but it's well worth it! I'm really curious to know what all you've pursued creativity wise, because right now I'm honestly not all that sure what I want to do with my life. In any regard, really. I don't know what kind of job I'd like to have, or if I'm going to go to college, or any of that life stuff. Going to an art school might be a bit fun, but I feel like it'd be really stressful. I dunno, our best friend keeps telling me that I'd probably do great, and I wish I could have that same sort of confidence in myself. Sometimes I feel like my life won't go anywhere, which might sound a little peculiar to you considering how young I am right now. I shouldn't be worrying about this stuff so much, or feeling the way I do right now, and I keep trying to remind myself that some things I can't blame myself for.

I hope that wherever you are right now, and in whatever health you are in, you know how cared for and lovely you are. Whatever direction your life is currently going, know that everything will be okay in the end. You're so brave.

I love you,


Collage: What I hope my life will be like in 20 years
By Frankie (Aca-Awkward)


Latest articles (1st July 2018)

Fleeing abuse
Are you or someone you know trying to flee from abuse? It might be worth reading this article as it details some of the options available when figuring out how to leave an abusive household.

Black Panther: A review
This article is an in depth review of the Black Panther movie that released earlier this year. It might help you decide if the movie is one that would be enjoyable.

One year cut free
Are you struggling with self harm? This article was written by one of our users and they discuss what helped them to accomplish their goal of being one year cut free.

Being called as a witness for a trial
This is an informational article about what happens when a person is called to be a witness for a trial. It highlights what some people might experience if they have to be a witness in a court of law.




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.




Breathe2Relax is an application designed to teach proper breathing techniques, which, in turn, can help to stabilise your mood and help you feel relaxed. Before starting a breathing exercise, you can record your stress levels, which can be tracked over time as you continue to use the application. It is also possible to select a scenery and background music to personalise your experience. Pressing the 'Learn' button will take you to a wealth of information on the biology of stress, diaphragmatic breathing and effects of stress on the body, and accompanying videos. This application can be used as part of your regular lifestyle, or in response to stressful situations or panic attacks.

Breathe2Relax is 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.


Maintaining your dog's shedding hair

Do you have a dog that is shedding a lot of hair? Read this tip for more information on the steps you can take to help when you're faced with a shedding dog.
  • Use a furminator or brush. Different dogs' coats need a different brush or a furminator [source] which helps to brush out loose hair and dirt. 
A furminator helps to brush the under coat of the dog and picks up loose hair.
  • Brush your dog first to help with bathing. Brushing your dog's hair before washing improves the effectiveness of the shampoo and cleaning of the hair and skin. Washing your dog's hair helps to get rid of any dirt and odors from their skin and coat. Using an all natural pet shampoo or baby shampoo are options that can be safe and gentle for the dog's skin and coat.
  • Brush the fur when it is dry. Using a towel to dry the hair can help soak up most of the wetness. Another option is taking your dog outside to let the hair dry naturally. Once the hair is dry it is easier to brush out the loose hair.
  • How often to use a furminator or brush. 
The frequency that you brush your dog's hair depends on the type of hair they have. Some breeds require grooming of the hair to trim it short while others require brushing and bathing. During seasonal changes you may find that you need to brush more often to control the loose hair.
  • Maintain a brushing routine. Having a brushing routine can help with the shedding of unwanted hair. Brushing every day or every couple of days can help reduce the amount of hair in your home.


Crafting with kids: kaleidoscopes

If you've ever used a kaleidoscope, especially as a kid, you probably know how much fun it can be to watch the colors and patterns change before your eyes. While the glass and mirror ones can be pricy, making your own is actually pretty cheap and simple! Whether you have little ones in your life or you just want to try it on your own, this fun craft is sure to make a summer afternoon a little more exciting.
  • Collect your materials. To make your kaleidoscope, you will need a 4-by-6 inch piece of cardboard (you can get this for free by recycling an old cereal box), a 4-by-6 inch sheet of clear, flat plastic (those office sheet protectors work great for this), aluminum foil, a glue stick, some tracing paper, markers, scissors, a ruler, and tape.
  • Create the base. Start by folding your piece of cardboard in half so the shorter sides meet. Kids might know this as a "hamburger style" fold. Unfold it, then fold each half in so it touches the center fold, creating three distinct lines. Then, lay your sheet of plastic over it and use a ruler and scissors to mark where the plastic overlaps the folds in the cardboard. Set your plastic aside afterwards - we'll come back to it later.
  • Assemble your kaleidoscope. Put glue all over the cardboard and attach the aluminum foil with the shiny side facing up. If you have extra, that's okay. You can just trim it off! Lay your sheet of plastic over the aluminum foil and fold your kaleidoscope into a triangular shape following the lines you made in the plastic. One side of your triangle should have some overlap and the aluminum foil and plastic should be on the inside when it's closed. Once you've got your folds done, tape it shut.
  • Create your pattern. This is easily the most fun part of this project! Cut out a small square of tracing paper, making sure it's a little bit bigger than the triangular opening in your kaleidoscope. Using markers, start making a colorful pattern, filling up most of the blank space with bright colors. You can do it however you want, but the effect does seem to work best when the pattern starts from the center. Make as many of these as you want so you and/or your kids can switch the papers out and see different patterns.
  • Use your kaleidescope. Hold your kaleidoscope up to the light, put it over your eye, and place one of your sheets of tracing paper in front of the other opening. It's up to you if you want to attach the paper with tape, but simply holding it might work better if you've created multiple patterns so you don't have to keep taping and untaping. Start turning your creation and you'll be able to see cool colors and patterns reflecting off the foil, making an awesome illusion of transforming colors and shapes!


DIY face scrub

There are a number of benefits in using a face or body scrub, however, finding one that is affordable can be difficult. This tip will tell you how to create your own affordable scrub.
  • Gather the ingredients. You will need 1/2 a lemon, 1/2 a cup of granulated sugar, 1 tbsp of olive oil, 1 tbsp of organic honey and a medium sized Tupperware bowl for mixing.
  • Combine the ingredients. Add the lemon juice and olive oil to a bowl and mix them together. Once the lemon juice and olive oil mix, add the honey; whisk the ingredients together until they form a medium to thick consistency. Add the sugar and mix it all together. You can adjust the consistency of the scrub by decreasing the amount of olive oil and honey you use. Finding the right consistency might take you a few tries as well. It's probably best to continue using 1/2 a lemon for every 1/2 cup of sugar you use.
  • How to best use the scrub. This particular scrub is beneficial for people who have acne because every single helps acne prone skin;Lemon is good at tightening pores, sugar can remove dead skin cells and it cleanses pores, the olive oil can help heal acne scars and the honey can help prevent future breakouts.When applying this it is best to apply it with circular motions. If you are applying the scrub to your face be sure to wash it off after 7-10 minutes and wash it off after 3-5 minutes if you are applying it to your body.
  • Clean up. Clean up is a breeze if you make it in a Tupperware bowl with a lid; once you are done you can put the lid on and store it somewhere. There is no real need to keep this stored in the fridge. It lasted me about a week but it's possible I was using more than necessary.


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.



Inspirational books
This user is looking for recommendations on inspirational non-fiction books about influential people. Do you have any suggestions for this user?

Incredibles 2
While many people are excited to see Incredibles 2 in theaters, there have been warnings of flashing lights and strobe lights that can exacerbate certain conditions. Come to this thread to discuss the safety of seeing the movie in theaters.

Mushrooms are used in many meals and can also be eaten as a healthy snack. This thread allows you to talk about whether or not you enjoy eating mushrooms raw.

Favorite season to dress in?
Join the conversation and tell us your favorite season of the year to dress in. Share with others why you enjoy that particular season and what you prefer to wear.


Social Groups

Hurting Love
Are you currently feeling down and hurt, or do you want to help those who are? This social group allows you to express what you are feeling and help others with what they're going through.


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 on the website.

Picture by SunShine2002


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!

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


Editorial team

Publications Team Leader/Editor-in-Chief: Haley (Halcyon)
Senior Newsletter Editor: Cassie (cynefin)
Newsletter Editor: Chantal (MsNobleEleanor)
Newsletter Editor: Dez (Melancholia.)
Newsletter Editor: Jenna (.:Bibliophile:.)
Newsletter Editor: Sammi (Ambedo.)

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