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REACHOUT

You will notice a new link on the links page. It is to an organisation that is really important to me and it is called Reachout.  

Sometimes its hard for teenagers to talk about this kind of stuff and sometimes its hard to work out who to talk  to, or even who you can trust, who will just laugh in your face, who can  keep your secrets. I know it is pretty difficult for me. 

If you are ever feeling down, or have a friend who is, try a visit to  the Reachout site. Below is a bit of really good advice from them and  its called:

Help a Friend.

You may have a friend who is going through a tough time..

The big question is: What can we do to help?

There are  lots of things we can do. And there are lots of people ready to help. It starts with taking the time to listen. It is as simple as reaching out, and acknowledging what they have to say. Letting them know that they are supported.

Below are a few simple ideas which may help you to reach out to someone that you know.

Listen    Try to listen without offering advice. Allow the person a chance to talk.  Try to save your own story for a better time.

Be open minded, don't judge them.  Be as supportive as possible. 

Avoid giving advice.  Tell your friend what worked for you in the past. It may help them to find a solution.

Use open ended questions if you can.  Open ended questions often start with the words "how" or "what".   Another type of open question may start with "Can you tell me about....." This kind of question lets people talk openly with you.

Let your friend know you are listening.  Tell them that their feelings are understandable.

Don't be afraid to ask if you think a friend is suicidal.  Asking if someone is suicidal can help them to get through it.

Be a good friend  If a friend tells you they are suicidal  then don't keep it a secret.  Its important that you speak to someone who can help - your parents, a teacher, a doctor.

Help your friend find a counsellor, psychologist or doctor who can help them  -  Offer to go with them when they go to see someone.  They don't have to go alone.  Later on talk to other people about how you feel about what your friend told you.  You don't have to name your friend. Just make sure you feel ok too.

Take care of yourself  -  Remember you are important too.  Helping someone, particularly if they are going through a tough time can be stressful.  You are not responsible for how they are feeling but you can help.  You will be better able to support them if you've got a shoulder to lean on yourself.