Worried about someone?

“You’re gonna feel like you are the only boy you know experiencing this, but you’re really not… I think it’s important to realise that you can talk about it”


When children and young people are having a tough time it can be difficult for them to talk about how they are feeling.  They may feel confused, ashamed, afraid of what will happen if they open up. And these barriers can be even greater for boys who worry that they will appear weak.

And as friends or family members we worry about what to say and how to help. We don’t want to say the wrong thing or make the situation worse. But there is some helpful advice available.

Click here for a useful interactive leaflet for parents and carers developed  by Charlie Waller Memorial Trust.

Need help fast?

In an emergency if you or someone else has seriously injured themselves or is on the point of doing so

  • Phone 999 or go directly to A&E

If you need help fast but it’s not a 999 emergency

  • Call 111 (Open 24 hours). The person you speak to will ask questions about how you or the person you are with are feeling. They may put you in touch with another support service or your GP
  • Contact your GP and ask for an urgent appointment

For families

Young Minds have put together some useful guidance in their Parents Survival Guide.

For friends

Epicfriends  is an excellent site provided by Sheffield CAMHS which helps you to help your friends who might be struggling to cope emotionally. It provides a very helpful traffic light system guiding you about how to help and when you need to share your concerns with an adult.

Being there for a friend who is struggling can be difficult. They may behave differently, be unwilling to join in with things. But letting them know you that you are still their friend will help. Keep in touch and continue to invite them along to things you are planning.

Top tips

  • If your child or your friend is finding it difficult to talk give them time
  • Let them know that you are there for them and always happy to listen and support them.
  • It might be helpful to ask if they have any ideas about what might help.
  • There may be someone else that they could talk to or a support service that could help.
  • Take things slowly and gently: Asking lots of questions may be unhelpful. E.g. They may be unable to explain way they feel this way and asking why can add to a sense of guilt, the feeling that they don’t deserve to feel this way (although a gentler exploration of what may have contributed can be helpful).

Above all reassuring them they are loved and valued and that you will be there for them will be a great help. And as a family member or friend trust your gut. If your concern is growing don’t ignore your concerns. Speak to your GP or contact one of the organisations listed here. And if help is needed urgently follow the advice above.

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