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The parents' guide to what's in this website.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Reach Out is an educational site that offers support and information for teens who struggle with mental health issues, and features real stories about real teen issues. Although these stories are explicit and chock-full of sex, drugs, and violence, they serve a greater purpose. These stories offer optimistic solutions and healthy options for teens who are surviving difficult times. This site was created to offer struggling teens with insight to leading a more positive life by improving their mental health.
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Is it any good?
REACH OUT is a remarkably supportive site for teens and parents alike. Although social networking continues to evolve, teens in crisis may feel as if they don't have any outlets. Reach Out promotes healthy decision-making to maintain positive mental health. Videos of teen biographies and personal stories lets teens know that they are not alone with their thoughts, that their emotions are indeed validated and shared by others. Pages such as "Help a Friend" and "Types of Treatment" list a variety of information about helping struggling teens, as well as counseling, mental health services, and free treatment options. There are also 24-hour hotlines available for those who need to talk to someone immediately.
This is not only a site for those struggling with mental health issues, but it is also a guide for physical health. The "Being Positive" page is dedicated to helping teens find a healthy balance in their lives. This page emphasizes the importance of exercise, eating healthy, and the value of alone time. Reach Out is a timely, relevant website that any teen experiencing crisis or supporting a friend should consider essential.
Online interaction: Site visitors can comment on blog posts and reply to one another's opinions. All comments are screened by site staff before being posted, and only positive and supportive content is posted.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the different ways a person's mental health can be impacted by technology. How have social networks and mobile phones changed the dynamics of communication, when what used to remain personal, like bullying on the schoolyard, no longer ends when the school-bell rings at the end of the day? Now teens can attack one another at any time of the day or night in their private space at home, via mobile devices or on the Internet free for world to see.
It's important for teens to have a place to turn to that teaches them how to constructively address these issues. Do you know anyone who has been cyberbullied? What should you do if you are a victim of cyberbullying?
Parents can talk to teens about coping mechanisms and positive ways to deal with stress.