Project Pinwheel

A note about COVID-19

Due to COVID-19 and the ongoing need to practice precautions, some of the recommendations for ways to help and connect with others listed on this page are not safe and should be avoided at this time—especially those that call for close contact with others. However, many of the strategies listed here are still possible! You can continue to look for ways to connect with others by phone, video or from a safe distance.




What Youth and Teens Can Do


Sometimes it’s easier to talk to a friend who’s your age when things aren’t OK at home or in school.


Telling an adult about things that are uncomfortable and upsetting can be hard. That’s why as a kid or teenager, it’s important to be open to listening to and supporting your friends and other young people you know when they’re going through difficult times. You can be more than just a bystander, even though you’re not an adult. By stepping in, speaking up and supporting others, you’re also setting a good example for those who are younger than you.
Listen and Connect

Listen and Connect

You can help others who are experiencing bullying or domestic violence by reaching out, listening and offering support to those who need it, and by encouraging others to do the same.

  • Tell friends they can talk to you when they’re feeling isolated, lonely, scared or upset.
  • Encourage friends to make a list of safe adults that they can talk to when they’re feeling lonely, upset or overwhelmed. Contact an adult if you or a friend are in danger or have thoughts of harming yourself or someone else.
  • If you see someone in your school, club or youth group who seems like they might be lonely, take a moment to reach out. Even just saying “hi” or asking about someone’s day can help them feel included.
  • You may not realize it, but your actions make a difference to those who are younger than you. Younger children look up to you and when they see you looking out for others and being kind and compassionate, they are more likely to do the same as they interact with their friends and family.
Help

Help

If you know someone that you believe is experiencing abuse or neglect, reach out to them or encourage them to talk to a trusted adult such as a teacher, counselor, coach, family member, community center staff or youth group leader.

  • If you are concerned about how a friend or family member is being treated, intervene if you feel safe doing so. If you do not feel safe, tell an adult you trust and ask for help.
  • Let your family, friends and peers know they deserve to be in relationships in which they are loved, respected and supported. If you or a friend is in an abusive relationship and in need of help, you can access help services by contacting Love is Respect. Text “loveis” to 22522 or call 1.866.331.9474.
Participate

Participate

It feels good to give back and remember, volunteering isn’t just for adults. Nonprofit and other volunteer organizations are always looking for children and teens who are willing to join with their energy, ideas and perspective.

  • Don’t know where to start? Visit your local community center. Community centers are great places to connect with volunteering opportunities and find resources for yourself and others. You can also check out Spokane Cares for more ideas.
  • Consider mentoring children younger than you. Local organizations like Big Brothers, Big Sisters offer mentoring programs to help you get started. You can also ask your school for resources. Many Spokane schools can even pair you with a mentee through Communities in Schools, a program that works directly with schools to support and empower students.
Educate and Share

Educate and Share

Another way that you can help others is by being a source of information. If a friend, family member or classmate is having a hard time, you can help them by pointing them toward resources available in your community or school. Here are a few examples:

  • Passages Spokane provides counseling, skill-building workshops, and support groups for teens.
  • Communities in Schools Crisis Residential Center (CRC), Cup of Cool Water and Crosswalk offer services for youth who have run away from home and youth living homeless.
  • The NATIVE Project also provides counseling services to people aged 10 to 18 years old. Call 509.325.5502.
  • The Odyssey Youth Movement (24-hr crisis text line 741741) is a place that provides LGBTQ+ youth a space to hang out and connect with others. The Trevor Project is another organization that offers crisis intervention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning youth.
Learn

Learn

Your opinion matters. You’re not an adult yet—but that’s one of the things that makes your opinion and your voice so important—you have a unique worldview because of your age and generation. Being a young person today is different from decades past, so it’s important to share what the world looks like through your eyes. Check out these videos to see how other children and teens are sharing their thoughts with the world.

  • Listen to this TED Talk by then 10-year-old Adora Svitak, who explains why “kids’ dreams deserve high expectations.”
  • See what other children and teens are saying about the world’s biggest issues. Visit UNICEF’s Voices of Youth site where you can even contribute your own ideas and opinions.
Take Care of Yourself

Take Care of Yourself

If you are visiting this page because you are experiencing bullying or poor treatment at home, at school, or in a relationship, there are places you can go for help and information. Check out these websites:

  • Not sure if it’s abuse? Visit the That’s Not Cool website to get a better understanding of your relationship with the person you’re dating. You can also take the Cool Not Cool quiz to see what you and others your age think about a range of relationship scenarios.
  • If you’re experiencing bullying or cyberbullying, visit stopbullying.gov to get information about what you can do and how to help yourself or a friend who is being bullied.
  • The YWCA offers trauma support services for youth and children if you or someone you know has witnessed multiple traumatic events such as violence or abuse at home.
  • If you are struggling with depression or anxiety, ask your doctor about the RISE program, which offers counseling and treatment for adolescents aged 13 to 17 who are experiencing depression and anxiety.
  • If you are in a suicidal crisis or experiencing emotional distress, the National Suicide Prevention Hotline can connect you with a person to talk to. Call them at 1.800.273.8255. Remember that you are not alone.