If you're interested in seeing the video that sparked off this lesson, the interview with the girl's mother is below. Of course, it's very hard hitting, so brace yourself.
My heart breaks for all those affected by these kinds of stories. When I was teaching my lesson today, I was speaking to my students as if I were speaking to this poor girl. I was telling them that they are never alone. Even if they feel they feel they have no have friends right now or don't want to confide in their family for whatever reason, there are other support networks they can turn to for help - there is always someone that cares about them and things do get better!
In a strange timing of fate, this morning before I was due to deliver my lesson, I was watching the news with my tutor group, and the station were reporting on this new app that had been designed by school children in the UK to support young people through hard times. Their app was such a good idea that it has since been adopted by Childline and funded by Barclays Bank, how amazing is that! You can read more about the "For Me" app here. I love that it was designed by young people, for young people!
For those of you who may not know what Childline is, it's a 30 year old charity in the UK that offers free 1:1 counselling over the phone to young people. However, now some teens have brought this wonderful service into the 21st Century. Not only is there still the 1:1 chat feature, but they have "Ask Sam" problem pages and a "private locker" where they can digitally track their moods and record their thoughts. I thought this would be particularly good for tracking any bullying episodes too, which is something I advise students to do in this Cyber Bullying Awareness Lesson.
I shared this with my students today and wanted to share it with you too so you could spread the word and help more youngsters. The more support networks we offer our students, the more chance they can pull through these tough teen years and build up resilience and character to build a good life for themselves.
Do you know of any other apps that offers support for young people? Feel free to share links in the comments below!