Telling Other People

It’s normal to feel worried about talking to people about how you’re feeling, especially if it’s the first time you’ve tried to do this. Still, finding someone you trust to speak to is a really good way of getting the help and support you need.

If you’re thinking about talking to someone, but aren’t sure where to start – keep reading. We’ve put together a few ideas that might help.

  • Step One: Deciding who to speak to
  • Step Two: Deciding what you want to tell them
  • Step Three: Having the chat

Step One: Deciding who to speak to

If you know you want to tell someone, but aren’t sure who – this is a good place to start.

Think of all the people you have in your life – your friends, parents, brothers/sisters, grandparents, aunts/uncles, teachers, youth workers, social workers, school nurses, your best friend’s parents or someone else.
Think about times you’ve spoken to them before – which of these people are most supportive? Who do you find it easier to speak to? Who do you feel most comfortable with? Who do you think will be able to help you most at the moment?

Red PhoneIf you’re not sure who to talk to, that’s ok. Ringing a confidential helpline, like Childline (0800 1111) or the Samaritans (08457 90 90 90), will give you the chance to talk it through.

If you’re struggling to use the phone, you could try a good online forum (like Childline’s Message Board).

You can always e-mail us at Voice Collective to talk it through as well.

Step Two: Deciding what to tell them

thought-bubbleWhen things feel really bad, problems can seem as big as mountains. If lots of things are worrying you, you might not know where to start or what to say at all. That’s ok – it’s a really natural feeling.

You have choices here. The most important thing is for you to speak to someone to let them know that you’re struggling. If you can, though, it helps if you can say a bit more about what’s going on for you.

It can help to write something down (in words or pictures) about how you’re feeling. Wen you speak to someone, you can use this as a guide or give it them to read themselves. This really helps if you find your mind goes blank sometimes, or if you struggle to get your words out when you’re stressed.

Step Three: Having the chat

Speech bubbleWhen you need to tell someone something you find scary or difficult, the first words can be the hardest. Once you get going, it can get much easier.

A good place to start is by telling them you’re not feeling good and that you need to talk. You can tell them if you’re feeling a bit nervous about it too – if you’ve chosen the right person they’ll try and help you find ways of saying what you need to say.

If you’re worried that the person you’re talking to won’t understand what you’re struggling with (or that they’ll be really worried) – it can help to print out some information for them (or give them the url of a website you’d like them to read).

I wanted to tell my parents that I was self harming, but worried they’d freak out. I found a website with some advice for family & friends and gave this to them. I asked them to read it and said I’d be back down in half an hour. When I came back we had a really good talk.

If it doesn’t work out this time – don’t give up. Either try speaking to them again, or speak to someone else you trust.

Asking for help is a good thing and there are people out there who want to support you.