Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Reaching out to at-risk teens

Today I wrote a very personal blog entry (complete with pic of me at 16) over at the MTV Books Blog that gets to the core of why I wrote a book like Ballads of Suburbia. It's the book I needed and looked for when I was sixteen and not sure how to cope with a truly terrible relationship or help friends with their messed-up home lives or navigate my own home life. I had friends who ran away from homes, literally, and figuaratively by escaping into drugs and alcohol. My personal form of relief was self-injury; a habit that started when I was 13 years old and didn't end until my early twenties.

I grew up with troubled teens and there are still so many, maybe even more troubled teens out there now. I think one of the biggest causes of self-destruction in people/families/groups of friends is the fact that we bury our pain and problems, we don't talk to each other. I wrote Ballads of Suburbia to help break that silence, to give people a starting point of conversation.

I want this book to get to the kids who need it most, so this week I am compiling a list of organizations that help at-risk teens. Organizations that focus on healing from self-injury, addiction to alcohol/drugs. Organizations that counsel kids dealing with those issues and kids who are runaways or homeless. I'm not really going the religious organization route because I'm not a religious person. I'm talking about orgs like SAFE Alternatives and To Write Love On Her Arms. And I'm looking for more, national orgs, local orgs. So if you've heard of a good national organization that helps teens or know of a great one in your community, please post a link. If you have contact information for someone at that organization, even better. If you don't feel comfortable posting that, you can email it to stephanie at stephaniekuehnert dot come.



Alyssa Kirk said...

That's one of the most awesome things I've ever heard.

Rachael said...

Hey read your blog - check out our organization providing alternative education for at-risk teens. www.streetschoolnetwork.org and on twitter @streetschools. Love what you're doing.

lyndsey said...

Hey Stephanie. I work with teens with behavior issues, specials needs and mental dilemmas. I've dealt with cutters, kids who consider suicide and come from rough homes. They think they are the only ones facing these problems. That's why I'm starting a site that is going to be essays/creative work from anyone willing to submit a piece about how they overcame an obstacle. I also plan to compile a list of resources they can check out on rape, abuse, suicide, etc.

I believe I sent you an email about a post on my blog, and I'm still working out some kinks before my major late-summer launch. If you're interested in helping, let me know or spread the word.


Stephanie Kuehnert said...

Thanks for all the support and the links you guys!

Lyndsey I did get your email and will contact you as soon as I can.

Rachael, I will definitely check out your site!

Carolin said...

Helping at-risk teens is a very noble cause. Grassroots organizations that specifically target troubled teens are in the best position to help advance this cause. Tapping youth groups is another excellent avenue to reach out to them.

Carolin Newmeyer

Georgine Roe said...

I admire what you’re doing Stephanie. The fact that you were also a troubled teen before and you want to help teens of today makes your cause even more meaningful. I’m sure any organization you ask for help will gladly join you! Good luck, Stephanie, and kudos to your cause! =)

Georgine Roe