Dear Readers – I’m reaching out to the many young people who write me – some as young as 12 - because they feel they have no one they can talk to about their problems.
A shocking number say they’re distraught to the point of thinking about suicide.
They feel shame at some self-perceived inadequacy or feel “different,” but have no idea how to get help.
This is for all who nevertheless had the courage to email or write me.
Yes, courage - because you’ve taken a first step. It also shows that you’re thoughtful, and concerned about what your problem means to the people you care about.
I cannot “talk” with you, but I can direct you to those who can.
There are people who help, through easily accessible online websites or by phone hotlines. The information you give is confidential. Trained people will listen, but won’t be shocked or judgmental.
They understand that what’s happening to you can make you feel sad, frightened, and even desperate.
You need to know and believe that the loneliness about your situation can be eased, just by opening up to someone who listens.
If you need help right now, KidsHelpPhone is a place to start – at 1-800-668-6868 for all of Canada, and kidshelphone.ca. This agency helps “kids” to ages 20, the phone and web counselling you’ll get is free and available 24/7. You don’t have to say who you are; whatever you say is safe.
There are online discussion groups and information about bullying, violence, abuse, emotional health, dating, school, and more.
For kids and teens in the US, as well as in other countries, go to www.hotlines.50webs.com, where you can access USA national hotlines for child abuse, suicide prevention, run away issues, and more.
Phone numbers for direct conversations with national US hotlines are:
Childhelp National Child Abuse – 1-800-422-4453 is accessible 24/7.
Calls to 1-800-SUICIDE (784-2433) are connected to a certified crisis center nearest the caller’s location, 24/7.
The Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255) is open to talk about such things as abuse/violence, sexual orientation issues, loneliness, relationships, family problems, mental health/illness, physical illness, or to help a friend or loved one.
Call 1-800-RUNAWAY if you’re a teenager thinking of running from home, or if you know someone who’s run and needs help, or if you’re ready to go home again. It’s anonymous, confidential, and free.
There are also hotlines listed for some specific religious communities in which young people are experiencing distress.
I’m in my 40s and for years, got together with two high-school friends for an annual “girls’ weekend.” We live in different cities, although they live closer to each other.
The last few times, I initiated the planning.
However, I noticed that the two would often leave me out of what they were doing. I learned they were having other girls' weekends without including me.
I communicated regarding this year’s weekend. Both responded that they’d look for a free date. I’ve heard nothing since.
I feel that if I weren’t pushing for it, they’d do their own thing.
My husband says I’m being too sensitive.
It’s a long time since high school, but they’re reviving teenage behaviour. They owed you an answer. If they’re no longer keen on the three-person get-together, they should say so.
Being sensitive can be an alert that change has occurred.
Be forthright. Say you understand that they may’ve lost interest in the weekend but you’d like to know. If it’s so, spend that time being good to yourself.
I'm moving to a new school; my current school makes me feel desperate and helpless! However, TWO of my ex'es could possibly be in my new class.
They're best friends, and were my best friends, too. But we had a fight and things went to hell.
Should I go there and fix things, or just stay at my current school, or find another?
I don't want to make a fool of myself before them, but I really miss them. I don't know if they want to talk to me or believe I've changed.
Need Help Desperately
Reach out to these two before you go to the new school. Apologize for whatever went down before, and say you miss them and value their friendship.
The summer break will put space between the past split, and a new start.
Meanwhile, you’d benefit from talking about relationship issues with a trained counselor at one of the above help hotlines.
Tip of the day:
Desperate kids and teens CAN find help, if they reach out.