I’ve got a problem, who should I talk to?

It can be hard to know who to turn to when we're struggling with something, anything, in life. Who's the best person to speak to? Who can you trust? What if it's embarrassing or dangerous? Let The Mix help you out.

school girl with pursed lips looking worried

You don't have to go through anything alone.

I’m not sure if I need to speak to someone about this

We all run into problems in life, whether it be a body problem, relationship problem, or family problem. The world would stop turning if problems didn’t exist. So there’s no shame in struggling with something, or asking for help.

Sometimes you can sort a problem out yourself. But sometimes you get stuck and aren’t sure what to do. If this sounds like you, then it’s probably best to ask for help.

Who can I talk to?

  • A trusted adult, like a parent, guardian, grown-up friend or family member. More often than not, they’ll know you and understand you the most.
  • A teacher, or a leader at your youth or sports club, for example. They’re still a trusted adult who should know how to best support you, and you may feel less emotional talking to them than a family member.
  • A school counsellor or nurse can help if you’re having mental health or physical health problems. They can even give advice about friendship problems, as they’re trained to support you.
  • Your GP may seem like a more serious option, but helping people is a GP’s job. You can trust them, even if you don’t know them well, as they’re very knowledgeable and won’t share what you tell them with other people without your permission.

You don’t have to go to all of these people. Choose the person who is best for you. The most important thing is that you trust the adult you speak to.

How can I start THAT conversation?

It can be super tricky to have a hard, embarrassing or personal conversation with anyone. But it can be even more difficult when you have to start it, and you’re speaking to an adult.

Think about what you want to say first. Writing it down could help you figure out what to say and how to say it. When you feel ready, think of a good time to start a conversation, such as at dinner, in the car, or at break time. Then just start talking.

As soon as you’ve started talking, the rest will be a lot easier. Try to feel confident that your chosen adult will want to help you, no matter what the problem is.

If you really can’t face talking about your problem, then you can always write it down. Put it into a letter or an email, and give or send it to your trusted adult. Just make sure you send them the message in a safe way. No one wants their private Facebook messages seen by all their friends.

What if there’s no one I can speak to?

If after reading this you can’t think of an adult to speak to, or you really, really don’t want to speak to any of the adults close to you, then consider these places:

  • The Mix, this website can help you in a number of ways. You can post a question anonymously on our discussion boards, and other young people will reply with their advice. You can also call our helpline team and speak to a trained team member over the phone. Or you can type your concern and get help from a team member in our one-to-one webchat.
  • Childline is a charity that helps children aged under 18. You can call their helpline on 0800 1111 or talk to a counsellor online by logging-in to Childline’s 1-2-1 chat.
  • Papyrus can give you immediate support if you’re feeling extremely low and have had suicidal thoughts. Call them for free on 0800 0684141 or send a text to 07786 209697.

But I don’t WANT to talk to anyone

You can’t be forced to talk about your problems – you have to make that decision. But remember there are lots of people, online or offline, who will want to support you whatever you’re going through. It’s a brave thing to open up, and once you’ve made that first step, the rest will become easier.

Next Steps

  • Papyrus supports young people who are feeling suicidal - you can call, email or text them. Call on 0800 068 41 41.
  • Chat about this subject on our Discussion Boards.
  • Need help but confused where to go locally? Download our StepFinder iPhone app to find local support services quickly.




Updated on 17-Feb-2017