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November 30th, 2009

To Write Love on Her Arms

This Extra Ink was written by Betsy C.

You're not alone.

Hopefully, most of the people reading this already understand that: I hope you have a supportive network of friends and family, shoulders to cry on, and people to turn to when you're in despair. Unfortunately, not everyone feels like they have that support, that love, in their lives.

To Write Love on Her Arms is a non-profit organization with the goal of preventing suicide and self-injury. According to their site, an estimated 20 percent of teenagers suffer from depression at some point--and up to two thirds of depression cases are never treated. If you know someone who you think may be depressed, or if you have some of those feelings yourself, you should know that you can get help.

The TWLOHA website is a great place to start. Their Facts page will fill you in on risk factors for depression, different kinds of self-injury, and well-researched statistics on both these subjects. You can find hotline numbers, counselors, and other assistance on the Find Help page. TWLOHA is there, as they state, to be "a bridge to help" for people who suffer from eating disorders, addiction, and other concerns, as well as self-injury, depression, and suicide.

If you feel like the other teens at your school don't understand what you're going through, you can also turn to Teen Ink. Our online archive has essays about depression and self-injury by teens who have been there and managed to find a way to get help. Their stories are inspiring, and I hope that you can look to Teen Ink to find hope and support. Remember: you're never alone, no matter how much you might feel that way sometimes. Teen Ink and TWLOHA are both there to help you.

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