Talking to a friend about a difficult issue
If you’re worried about a friend, talking to them about it can be a real help.
It can be really tricky – even a bit nerve wracking - to know how to start a conversation.
Remember - people often want to talk about a problem but wait until they’re asked.
What if they don’t want to talk?
If they are bottling things up inside it might be because they are scared of talking about what’s going on. Sometimes people find it hard to talk because:
- They think they’ll get in trouble
- They think you or other people will judge them
- They are being told by someone not to talk about a problem
You should never force someone to talk about a problem. If they don’t want to talk, let them know you’re always there to listen. Maybe they’ll change their mind later on.
Remember – you can support your friend by listening to them but a lot of problems you won’t be able to solve on your own.
Always seek support from an adult you trust if you think your friend is unsafe.
Organisations that can help
Talk to someone
ChildLine is a free helpline for children and young people. You can contact ChildLine about anything. No problem is too big or too small. Whatever your worry, it's better out than in.
ChildLine is a private and confidential service. Confidential means not telling anyone else what you’ve said. This means that whatever you say stays between you and ChildLine.
They would only need to tell someone else if:
- You ask them to.
- They believe your life or someone else’s life is in immediate danger.
- You are being hurt by someone in a position of trust who has access to other children like a teacher or police officer.
- You tell us that you are seriously harming another young person.
Call them on 0800 1111. The number won’t appear on your phone bill.
You can also visit www.childline.org.uk to speak to a counsellor online.
Share your experiences with other young people
Talk to other young people about your experiences and get support at the ChildLine messageboards. There are lots of young people talking about everything from sex and relationships to sport and fashion.
CEOP helps young people who are being sexually abused or are worried that someone they’ve met is trying to abuse them.
If you’ve met someone online, or face to face, and they are putting you under pressure to have sex or making you feel uncomfortable you should report to CEOP.
This might be someone:
- Making you have sex when you donʼt want to
- Chatting about sex online
- Asking you to meet up face to face if youʼve only met them online
- Asking you to do sexual things on webcam
- Asking for sexual pictures of you
- Making you feel worried, anxious or unsafe
If this is happening to you, or you’re worried that it might be, you can report this to CEOP.