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Advice for juniors and teens

Growing up can be a difficult time. Not only is everything about you changing – such as physical changes and emotional changes, you are also at a stage in your life where you will no doubt feel a lot of pressure. This could be school pressure, peer pressure (including on social media!), relationships breaking down and issues with your family. You might experience anxiety or low self-esteem; you may even feel confusion about who you are.

Your teenage years can make you feel stressed, isolated and confused. It may feel as though your own body is trolling you! One minute you are angry, the next you’re tearful and you just don’t know why. You may feel as though nobody in the world understands how you feel. This can lead to changes in your thought processes, your behaviours and your outlook on the world.

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Talking about your current problem

It may be difficult to decide who to talk to about how you feel. Whilst many people think ‘getting help’ means doctors and psychologists, the first stage could be just to simply tell someone you trust – such as your parents, a teacher or even your football/swimming coach.

If you are having problems at home with your parents then you may find it easier to talk to someone else you trust, away from the family.

The first step to feeling better for a lot of people is talking their problems through with another person. This helps to relieve a lot of the stress that comes with keeping a big secret. Sometimes it can be extremely valuable just to talk to someone; once your feelings are out in the open, it can help you to understand them better yourself and begin to think of ways to tackle them.

Talking to a medical professional

Sometimes you may feel you would benefit from talking to someone who works within the mental health sector. In this case, you will likely want to talk things over with your doctor to see what options are available for you. You will likely need to take a carer or guardian with you to this appointment depending on your age.  There are also helplines which deal specifically with young people; you can call these lines anonymously, if you don’t feel like you’re ready to talk about the things that are bothering you face-to-face yet.

Helplines for young people and their parents/carers;

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Skeet – Line (coming soon) – a vital mental health guidance and support line, free for children and young people. Papyrus are a national charity for the prevention of young suicide. They offer a specialist telephone service staffed by trained professionals who give non-judgemental support, practical advice and information to children, teenagers and young people. Tel: 0800 068 41 41 or text 07786 209697. Opening hours Mon-Fri: 10am-10pm, weekends: 2pm-10pm & Bank Holidays: 2pm-5pm. YoungMinds is the UK’s leading charity committed to improving the emotional wellbeing and mental health of children and young people. Parents helpline – 0808 802 5544.

usa-smallSkeet – Line (coming soon) – a vital mental health guidance and support line, free for children and young people. Boys Town offers a crisis support line for young people and teens. Their hotline (1-800-448-3000) is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and is staffed by specially trained Boys Town counselors. It is accredited by the American Association of Suicidiology (AAS). Spanish-speaking counselors and translation services representing more than 140 languages are available, along with a TDD line (1-800-448-1833), that allows counselors to communicate with speech-impaired and deaf callers.

canadaKids Help Phone are Canada’s only toll-free, 24-hour, bilingual and anonymous phone counselling, web counselling and referral service for children and youth. Tel: 1-800-668-6868.

 

australia-smallKids Help Line is a portal for children, young people and parents/carers. Tel: 1800551800. They offer a confidential, free and secure space where young people 12 – 25 or their family can chat, email or speak on the phone with a qualified youth mental health professional. Tel: 1-800 650 890.

new-zealand-smallYouthline works with young people, their families and those supporting young people. Tel: 0800 37 66 33  or Free txt 234.

Other countries – please click here.

Self help books for young people

We have put together a list of recommended books on child and adolescent mental health. Click here to view it.

 

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