Sharing can make you feel less alone and help relieve the stress of dealing with challenges by yourself. The person you talk to may be able to offer reassurance, support, information, or help you get connected with services in your community or online.
Here are some tips to help you get started.
When choosing someone to talk to, it can be helpful to look for someone who you’re comfortable with, someone you trust. A person who won’t judge you or downplay what you’re going through, will respect your privacy, will take you seriously, and will be understanding and accepting.
If you just want to talk, a friend may be a great choice. If you’re looking to find professional help, an adult, such as a parent, doctor, or teacher, might be a better choice. If you’re not sure where to start or you want to talk to someone anonymously, there are phone, text, and online chat options available.
Here are some options of people to talk to:
Before talking to someone, it can be helpful to think about how they can best support you.
It can be helpful to think about what kind of support you are looking for. For example:
- Just to talk
- To find out where to get more information
- To find services (such as counselling)
I can also be helpful to write down what you would like to say so you don’t forget.
Think about what method of communication you feel most comfortable using to start the conversation.
There is no right way to reach out, do what feels most comfortable for you.
- Phone or Text
- Online Chat
Here are some tips to help you get the conversation started.
- Let them know you have something you want to talk about. You might want to write down what you want to say beforehand.
- Start by explaining that you need some help with a problem. Think of some examples from your life as this may help them to better understand what’s going on.
- If you’re not sure how the person will react, one option is to test the waters. For example, you can talk about a story you read in the news that is similar to your challenge and see how the person reacts. This will give you an idea of their views and whether they’re likely to be understanding and supportive.
- You could also start a conversation more generally – talk about how you’ve not been feeling great, rather than saying you’re feeling depressed/anxious/stressed/etc.
Be prepared for a range of different reactions. Remember that someone’s initial reaction isn’t always their longer term reaction. The person may be surprised at the information you share and it may take a little while for them to process it. Life is full of ups and downs, and sharing our experiences with the people who care about us can help make things better.