Hey Sis site helping girls through tough times

A LAUNCESTON woman is helping young girls of varying nationalities through issues of self-harm or teenage angst via the Facebook page Hey Sis.

Loretta Armstrong, 27, of West Launceston, created Hey Sis after hearing about 15-year- old bullying victim Chloe Fergusson, who took her own life in September last year.

The page is run solely by Mrs Armstrong and gives teenage girls a "sister" to connect with when they are experiencing difficulty in their lives, to prevent a similar tragedy from occurring.

Mrs Armstrong said she had been contacted by girls from many countries, including the Philippines, India, South Africa, America and Australia.

"It is giving these girls someone to talk to and is really about letting them know that someone cares," she said.

Mrs Armstrong said she might connect with up to 10 different girls a day.

Some might make contact once and never again, while others have regular contact.

The page is run solely by Mrs Armstrong and gives teenage girls a "sister" to connect with when they are experiencing difficulty in their lives, to prevent a similar tragedy from occurring.

"Recent conversations include a girl [16] from South Africa who lost a baby through no fault of her own, but whose boyfriend and boyfriend's family shunned her ... and a 14-year-old girl in America who had her first crush on a boy who was a normal happy boy, but who committed suicide. This was a huge thing for her to deal with."

Mrs Armstrong makes it clear on the Facebook page that she has no formal counsellor training, and will advise girls to seek professional assistance or further help if it is needed.

She has since started an online diploma in the field.

For more information, visit www.facebook.com/ Heysisofficial.

•If you need help or counselling contact Lifelink Samaritans 1300364566, Lifeline 131114, Kids Helpline 1800551800, MensLine Australia 1300789978, or the StandBy Response Service 24-hour number on 0408133884, beyondblue 1300224636.

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