by Meredith Sires, Web Editor
With over 3,000 forum members and nearly 150,000 unique visitors to ReachOut.com in January 2013 alone, Inspire USA understands the importance of connecting youth in crisis to the resources they need. Boys Town, a support service available by phone at 1-800-448-3000 and online at yourlifeyourvoice.org 24 hours a day seven days a week, has remained a powerful partner in helping us achieve that goal.
Both in the ReachOut forums and throughout the site, comments have testified to the power of the tandem support provided by ReachOut and Boys Town. "I got off the phone with them a few minutes ago, and it really helped. I did feel sorta awkward at first, but they make it to where you actually feel comfortable. " “Something important about a stranger trying to help is that they will be completely honest with you. They purely are there for that one purpose and that is to help you realize that life is precious with obstacles that everyone has to overcome.” “Well, just know that on here you are never alone. Everyone on here is here to help you get through whatever it is that you’re going through and if we can’t help, or you feel it’s not enough, you can always give Boys Town a call.” “Please do not feel that you are not cared about. There are people who care about you and your life, even complete strangers. I would consider calling the Boys Town Hotline that was suggested to you.” “This service is very good. I’m on my way to a better and healthier life.”
In 2012, along with continuing to support the teens and young adults referred by ReachOut.com, Boys Town worked closely with our moderation team to develop a protocol for troubled forum users. The system allowed the community to flourish as moderators, Peer Supporters and members echoed and reinforced positive help-seeking messages.Year-end data from Boys Town reflected these signs of success as well showing over 2,600 visits directed from ReachOut to Boys Town’s yourlifeyourvoice.org, along with 282 emails that made mention of ReachOut.
by Meredith Sires, Web Editor
In an effort to reach rural communities and transition-aged youth, CalMHSA contractors, Inspire USA and Runyon Saltzman & Einhorn (RS&E), presented an informational webinar about ReachOutHere.com to the California Community Colleges. The webinar was attended by community college administrators, faculty and staff. Presenters included Scott Rose, RS&E principal; Susan Keys, Inspire USA special advisor on mental health; and Daniel Caldera, ReachOutHere.com peer supporter and community college student.
The 90-minute webinar covered an introduction to the Stigma and Discrimination Reduction campaign, the history and impetus for ReachOutHere.com and a live tutorial on how to utilize ReachOutHere.com. ReachOutHere promotional materials can now be downloaded by California Community Colleges to distribute on their own. As a follow up to the webinar, RS&E, Inspire USA and Daniel will present a second live webinar in late February.Please visit the following link to view the ReachOutHere.com http://cccstudentmentalhealth.org/webinars/past_webinars.php
by Emily O'Brien, Youth Programs DirectorSinger and ReachOut Youth Council Member Meredith O’Conner is doing her part to stomp out bullying one song at a time! Next month, Meredith and friends will be holding a fundraiser to "Strike Out Bullying" at the Baldwin Bowling Alley in Albany, New York. Along with spreading her powerful anti-bullying message with songs like "The Game," Meredith will also be donating half the proceeds from the event to ReachOut.com! Just another reason we're grateful for passionate Youth Council Members like Meredith, who also raised awareness for ReachOut during downtime at her most recent photo shoot with a PSA she made with her friends on YouTube.
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