New Teen/Adult Issues Section in the FHCI Library

By: Mira Rossen and Tasneem Shams

A new section of the library, consisting of self-help books on a variety of issues and anonymous contact phone numbers, has recently been created. This section, called the Teen/Adult Issues section, has very useful resources to help students get the support they need, and advice about problems and stressful situations. For students worried about a friend going through a tough time and unsure of how to help, this section is a great starting point. Students can bring their friend to the section to check out the book selection and get a handout with confidential support phone numbers, so that they will have valuable information to help them. Nearby the new Teen/Adult Issues section are cozy blue couches – a perfect spot to sit down and talk about the issue, offer advice or look through the books in a quiet and safe space. This new section is an awesome place to find support and resources but remember – if any issue feels too big to tackle alone, there are many caring adults in the building including guidance counselors to support you. Ms. C (English teacher/teacher librarian) and Jared Atlas (student council president) answer all the basic questions about this new section below.

Jared Atlas (Student Council President): A Teenage Perspective

Why was the new section created in the library?

Jared: We wanted to create a section in the library which is more isolated – that’s why it’s located in a slightly hidden area. We also wanted convenience to make sure that people who would benefit from these books would have an easier time finding them in a specific area, rather than having them go through the entire library and ask for help. This way, the books are clearly organized in a particular area that is easily accessible and protects students’ privacy.

How can students use this section to their advantage?

Jared: If someone is going through a troubling time and doesn’t feel comfortable talking to anyone, and they are searching for reliable information that they can’t find online, then they can go to this designated area and find helpful books that will directly address the problem they are facing.

Why is this section important?

Jared: It’s important to help raise awareness. It shows everyone that Forest Hill is a positive, safe and caring environment and that help and resources are available for students that need them.

Ms. C (English Teacher/Teacher Librarian): An Adult Perspective

Why was this new section created in the library?

Ms. C: It’s a way of showcasing some of the available resources on a variety of topics that Forest Hill students and adults face. It also provides another location in the school, outside of the guidance office, where students can find resources and contact numbers to support them with issues they may be struggling with.

What are some of the topics for which resources (books and/or contact numbers) are available?

Ms. C: Body image and self-esteem, family challenges, mental health, domestic violence, sexual assault, addictions (including video game addiction), gender and sexuality, identity questions, stress management, resilience, and general coping strategies.

How can students use this section to their advantage?
Ms. C: A book is something that you can keep in your hand or bag (opposed to online where information may not be verified and there may not be browsing privacy). By using the books and contact numbers, students can find support for issues they’re struggling with, and learn about effective ways to approach these issues. It’s somewhat of a self-help section, to remind students that they’re not alone and gives them the valuable perspective of experts, as many of the authors have gone through these issues themselves.

Is there anything else you think FHCI students should know about this new section? 
Ms. C: It’s there for the students, and we hope that they’ll check it out and take out books on issues that are relevant to their lives. The library will also be purchasing new books for this section. Also, beside the books, there will be a list of anonymous support phone numbers for students struggling with a variety of issues. These numbers will be posted on the wall, as well as on handouts beside the section for students to take with them. The physical location of the section enables students to have privacy while viewing these resources – which is important because many of these issues are of a sensitive nature. For some students, reading a book about an issue can be the difference between struggling alone or feeling more confident and seeking support. Remember that “you are not alone”.