U.S. Teens Speak Out About Tragedy On Crisis Website

By | September 19, 2001 at 12:00 AM

Following the horrific events of Tuesday, September 11th, America’s teens may be finding themselves faced with increasingly difficult stresses and concerns they may not know how to handle. This tragedy is unlike anything they have faced in their lifetimes. There is a place where teens can discuss their fears and grief, share stories, get clinical advice and begin to resolve problems with their peers – TeenCentral.Net (http: www.teencentral.net) from KidsPeace, the 119-year-old National Center for Kids Overcoming Crisis.

TeenCentral.Net is an innovative, self-guided problem-solving website for teens that offers resources, information, real-life case studies, interviews and stories from other teens, advice from business leaders, sports figures and celebrities, and an interactive section that allows visitors to share their own stories and validate their concerns anonymously. The site, which is receiving some 3 million hits a month and has received inquiries from 70 countries, every state in America, and U.S. military bases, focuses on providing teens with an individualized, safe and trustworthy resource to help them address whatever issues they may be confronting while maintaining their anonymity. Since the terror attacks, the site has been inundated with stories of teens affected by America’s tragedy.

Through a revolutionary “profile builder” the site identifies kids’ personal information, demographics and problem issues – through the use of a non-traceable code name. The site then selectively identifies appropriate resources, information and stories to help kids with their unique issues. Helpful information is available on topics directly related to the attacks like losing someone close to depression to suicidal feelings. Other topics crucial to teens are also focused on, like parents’ divorce, alcohol and drugs, peer pressure, bullies, school violence, and personal and family problems. To ensure a safe, productive experience for site visitors, all information and stories posted have been cleared clinically through KidsPeace and its experts.

Top Experts, Foundations & Figures Involved

Harvard’s famed expert on child psychology and violence (and former Cosby Show advisor) Dr. Alvin Poussaint and Brown University Professor Emeritus Dr. Lewis Lipsitt helped develop and support the website, as have America’s top foundations, civic figures and celebrities. “TeenCentral.Net is crisis intervention at its best,” said renowned Brown University Child Study Center founder Dr. Lipsitt. “It’s immediately responsive and immediately available.”

TeenCentral.Net is being supported by such foundation giants as The W.K. Kellogg Foundation, The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, The Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, The UPS Foundation, Ronald McDonald House Charities, the Bell-Atlantic Foundation, and a host of others.

Celebrities involved and on-line include pop music group ‘N Sync, skater Scott Hamilton, NBA star Keith Van Horn, WNBA star Teresa Weatherspoon, Chicago White Sox player Frank Thomas, and many others.

Response from teens and ‘Net news media

With the help of a newly-launched major media and TV and radio public service campaign, TeenCentral.Net has already received hits from all 50 states, U.S. Air Force bases, and 70 countries around the world by teens with problems ranging from being isolated or teased in school to dealing with depression, death and suicidal impulses.

Heartwarmingly, kids from around the nation are also responding to the distress of other kids online, posting support, advice (screened by KidsPeace) and stories of how they have overcome similar situations – a new high-tech take on positive peer counseling.

As the site grows from its initial core group of more than a dozen topics, it has been hailed as an excellent resource and noted in major media such as New York Newsday, The Washington Post, The Hartford Courant, The Cleveland Plain Dealer, The Fresno Bee, The St. Louis Dispatch, The Omaha World-Herald, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Charlotte Observer, and The New Orleans Times-Picayune, among others. The New York Times on the Web named TeenCentral.Net as a “Site of the Day.”Experts are available for media interviews.

About KidsPeace

KidsPeace, the National Center for Kids Overcoming Crisis, is a 119-year-old not-for-profit organization dedicated to helping America’s children and teens overcome the kinds of crises that can strike any child.

This national children’s crisis group helps thousands of kids a day at some 50 centers across the nation, and reaches millions more each year with prevention and public education campaigns designed to help kids avoid and overcome crises. With more than a century of experience, KidsPeace has striven to create the largest number of programs in the country designed to help kids anticipate and overcome emotional crises caused by disasters, personal traumas, family issues, neglect, severe depression, eating disorders, and the many stresses of modern life.

KidsPeace was named “The Outstanding Organization” of its kind in the country by the American Association of Psychiatric Services for Children and was called “a prototype of what we need for all children everywhere” by the late, nationally renowned child and family expert, Dr. Lee Salk.

Related Content