Resources

Below is a list of places you can call when you need help.  Don’t ever forget – you don’t have to go through it alone, there is someone out there who wants to help you.

Madison Area Services

2-1-1

2-1-1 is a free call you can make to get information on many types of programs that can help you, including for emergencies, with physical and mental health issues, transportation, food, and shelter.

Wisconsin Victim Resource Center

The Wisconsin Victim Resource Center helps victims of crimes get the help they need. If you are a victims of a crime you can call (800) 446-6564.

Deaf Unity

If you are deaf and are the victim of domestic violence or sexual assault, call (866) 970-7932. 

National Services

Girls and Boys Town National Hotline
1-800-448-3000
This hotline is for abused, abandoned, neglected, handicapped, or otherwise troubled children, teens and their family members.

National Crime Victim Helpline
Stalking Resource Center

1-800-FYI-CALL (1-800-394-2255)
8:30 a.m. – 8:30 p.m. EST weekdays
This helpline will provide referrals to local services anywhere in the country.

National Domestic Violence Hotline
1-800-799-SAFE (1-800-799-7233)
This hotline is for victimes of domestic violence – violence that occurs in your home or with a family member. They offer crisis intervention, safety planning, information and referrals to agencies in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

National Runaway Switchboard
1-800-RUNAWAY (1-800-786-2929)
Counselors provide information and support for teenagers who are thinking of running away, who have a friend who has run away and is looking for help, or who have run away and are ready to go home. This service will send messages home, provide conference call services for calling home, and provide free rides home for runaway teens.

National Sexual Assault Hotline
1-800-656-HOPE (1-800-656-46730)
Calls are anonymously connected to the nearest community rape crisis center. Services include crisis counseling, information about medical issues, recovery, emergency services, and other community resources. Online hotline available at https://ohl.rainn.org/online.rainn.org.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Veterans Suicide Prevention Hotline

1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255)
Calls are anonymously routed to the nearest crisis center for crisis intervention, information and mental health referrals. Services are available to anyone who is considering suicide, or family members and friends concerned about a loved one.

National Teen Dating Hotline
1-866-331-9474
Online Chat: 4pm – 2am CST
Counselors provide information, safety planning, and support to those involved in or think they may be involved in dating abuse relationships.

Wired Safety
Online help from law enforcement officers and volunteers. The Web site features information on cybercrime, safety, and security for children and teens. Services include an online self-help resource for responding to and reporting cyberstalking, cyberbullying, and cyberabuse.

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Lost In the Mail

Ever sit near the phone waiting for it to ring? Or run out to the mailbox the minute the mailman comes? Probably not, today there are enough things to keep us busy, you don’t have to just “sit and wait”. But even with distractions, waiting for an invitation you’re not sure you’re going to get can seem long and lonely. What do you do if it never comes?

The birthday party “everyone” is talking about, the after-dance or after-game get together that “everyone” going to. The first thing to think about if you don’t get invited to something is whether you think it was Intentional (on purpose) or Not Intentional (not on purpose).

If you don’t think it was intentional the best thing to do may be simply to tell people “Hey, I’d like to do that too”. I knew a girl once who was disappointed no one included her in the silly pictures they were creating and sending out to each other on-line. It wasn’t until she finally mentioned she wanted to be a part of it that anyone thought she cared – everyone actually thought she didn’t like it!

If you don’t feel comfortable talking about it, and you really are friends with the person, you could invite them to lunch (or to do something else) on a different day, or send them a card (there are cards for just about everything these days). There could be many reasons why you didn’t get included and it’s easy to assume the worst, but most of the time your friends are not trying to hurt your feelings.

If you think the non-invitation was intentional, then you should handle it a little differently. It’s hard even as an adult to feel you’ve outgrown a friendship, or that someone chose not to include you in their event. However, those things happen, as teenagers and as adults. Try not to spend too much time worrying about it. If you think someone is your friend, and they are making you feel bad, they may not be that good a friend after all.

In that case, one of the best things to do is to get out and do something else. Either get together with another friend, spend some time on your favorite hobby, or visit (or write a letter to) someone you haven’t seen in awhile. Keeping busy doing things you enjoy will not only take your mind off of feeling bad, but will also remind you that life goes on, and the best people to spend time with are the ones who really make you feel good about being you!

I’m Bored!

Summer has just begun, but if you’ve already been to the movies, and the pool, and the mall, what else is there to do? You would be surprised at how many fun things there are to do around Madison in the summer, and they don’t involve a lot of money! For example (click on the underlined words to be directed to their websites):

  1. Geocaching – Never heard of it? According to the “official” website, geocaching is “a real-world outdoor treasure hunting game.” All you have to have is a GPS-enabled device, create a free account to get coordinates of the caches (or “treasures”) in your area, and set out on your hunt. To find out more information, check out the Geocaching website.
  2. Wingra Park – This park is a great place to hang out and have some fun! There are basketball courts and soccer nets, food and snacks are sold, you can rent canoes or paddle boats to take out on the water, and it’s not far off the bike path! To find out more check out their website
  3. Museums – Most people have heard of the Madison Children’s Museum, but did you know there are many other museums in Madison? Why not check out the Geology Museum, Veteran’s Museum, Historical Museum, Chazen Museum of Art, Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, UW-Zoological Museum, or the Helen Louise Allen Textile Collection (which is currently moving and re-opening in 2012, but they have a great web site and collection of fabrics).
  4. Madison Public Library – The library isn’t just for checking out books! The Madison Public Library has a lot of great activities for girls in middle and high school, including getting free advanced copies of books by joining the Teen’s Choice Awards, and participating in projects such as making blankets for animals at the Humane Society, and making goodie bags for verteran’s. Check out the website section specifically set up for activities for teens!

Have you found a “secret” fun thing to do around Madison this summer? If so, tell us about it by leaving a comment above!

I Don’t Know What To Say

We’ve all been in situations where we don’t know what to say, and that doesn’t change as you get older! Whether it’s a friend who’s in a fight with another friend, someone at school had a death in their family, or your parent had a really bad day at work, there are times when you want to be there for someone but you just don’t know what to say.

Do you smile akwardly and walk away? Sit silently and not say anything? Say something that you later think “Ohhh, maybe I shouldn’t have said that?” No matter what you do, knowing you are there for them will make your friend or family member feel much better. But if you really want to say something to show your support, try this:

“I don’t know what it’s like to…(include what is happening), but I know what it’s like to be sad/angry/scared/worried/disappointed, and I’m sorry you’re sad/angry/scared/worried/disappointed.”

For example:

“I don’t know what it’s like to have to put your dog to sleep, but I know what it’s like to be sad, and I’m sorry you’re sad.”

Or…

“I don’t know what it’s like to have someone do that to me, but I know what it’s like to be disappointed, and I’m sorry that happened.”

One last thing to remember – some day you may be the one who needs a kind word, and your friends may not know what to say. That doesn’t mean they don’t care! If you’re going through a tough time it’s o.k. to tell your friend how your feeling, too.

Showing compassion and saying a few kind words goes a long way in building and keeping lasting friendships!