Friday, November 7, 2008

You Are Not Alone

The presidential election and all the issues on the ballot here in California this year have brought forth emotions in everyone. Some are whooping in victory, some are disappointed, and most people I know are feeling a mix of both.

I imagine for those who weren't old enough to vote it's even more difficult. So many issues were raised this year, and you might have spoken with your friends about things like abortion, racism, civil rights for gays & lesbians, sexism, and the environment. I'd also bet you discovered that not all of your friends have the same perspective on life as you do (at least, that's what I discovered).

If you feel like you're alone in your beliefs, or if you just feel alone, period, I want you to know that you. are. not. alone. Whatever you believe, there are others right here in Fresno County (and around the world) that feel like you do. Find your people, find help, and remember that we are a nation where our voices can be heard, popular or not.

Local Help
EOC Sanctuary & Youth Shelter
1-800-820-4968
A welcoming place for youth, whether you visit or stay.

Alateen
An organization that helps teens deal with an alcoholic loved one. For information on local meetings, call 559-237-5433.

Gay-Straight Alliance Network
Offers details on starting a Gay-Straight Alliance at your own high school, plus lots of information for existing clubs. The contact number for the Central Valley office is 559-268-2780.

Planned Parenthood

Information on sexual health including birth control and pregnancy options. Enter your zip code to find the center closest to your home.

Teen Line
Get help from another teenager right here in California. Teen volunteers are available during evening hours via a hotline, a chat service, and a message board.

National Hotlines
All of these hotlines are free, confidential and open 24/7.

Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline
1-800-4-A-CHILD
Talk to a counselor about known or suspected child abuse.

National Domestic Violence Hotline
1-800-799-SAFE
Help for anyone involved in a domestic violence situation. Assistance in both English and Spanish.

National Sexual Assault Hotline
1-800-656-HOPE
Help for victims of rape and other forms of sexual assault. Website includes the option to chat with a trained rape crisis volunteer.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
1-800-273-TALK (1-888-628-9454 para EspaƱol)
Suicide and crisis prevention. Speak with a trained crisis worker who will listen and offer help.

The Nine Line for Homeless & Runaway Youth
1-800-999-9999
Help for runaway and homeless youth.

Trevor Project
1-866-4-U-TREVOR
Suicide and crisis prevention specifically for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered teens.

For a complete listing of community agencies that offer assistance locally, go to Fresno County Resources Online Directory.

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