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Asking for Help for Yourself

teen talking to professional

Talking to someone you trust is a good place to start if you are worried or scared, or don’t really know what is bothering you.

Talking it out can help you figure out what to do next. But how should you start that process? We have the hacks to help.

Getting Started

Try to figure out the feelings you are having.

You could write them down and make a list or just list them in your head. If you are having trouble figuring out your feelings check out the Feelings Poster:

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Next, ask yourself:

  • How often do you feel like this? Are you angry, sad or worried? How much of every day do you spend feeling like this?
  • Do you have trouble sleeping because of feelings you are having? Every night, or just sometimes?
  • Do these feelings only happen at home? At school? With a certain friend or group?
  • Does the feeling come after a certain event – like when adults have problems or you fight with a friend?

You might have other stresses not listed here – take a moment to think about what is stressing you, and if it is happening a lot.

Figuring out the answers to these questions will help you get started.

Getting Help

Who to talk to?

The person you choose should be someone you are comfortable with. A parent, brother or sister, friend, family member, or Elder, teacher or counsellor are all possibilities. The important thing is that you feel safe with them, can trust them, and can talk to them.

The person should also be helpful. Someone who usually tries to help you out is a good bet.

Getting Help

You should seek help if you can agree to one or more of the following statements:

  • I have thoughts of hurting myself or self-harming behaviours. If this happens seek emergency help immediately by going to the “Need Help Now?” page.
  • Worrying feelings are a constant part of my everyday
  • I have trouble sleeping
  • I have frequent meltdowns, temper tantrums or act out aggressively to others
  • I have more trouble with feelings than before
  • Trying self-help tips has not helped me

Talking About Your Feelings

PAUSE and take time to find a private spot, so that you can talk openly with the person you picked.

  • Connect with them by asking if you can tell them how you are feeling, or about something that is bothering you.
  • If you find it hard to get started, you can write something down and give it to them.
  • You could even put pictures or stickers on a piece of paper to get started.
  • Try to give examples of what’s bothering you – so that they really understand.
  • Tell the story through someone else – such as pretending your “friend” has this problem. Sometimes this helps get the words out, and you can still get suggestions on what to do about it.
  • Try to tell the person about what you are feeling when a certain thing happens, or when the feelings come over you.
  • Try to be honest, and give as much detail as you can.

RESET by thinking about what you shared, and if the person you shared with had any ideas for you to try. If so – do the ideas make sense to you? Are they something you can try?

Sharing feelings helps you not feel alone, and can help you find solutions to problems behind the feelings. And if you need more help, often another person can make that happen too.

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