Who can I turn to when I need help?

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Posted 149 days ago Latest
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Who can I turn to when I need help?

Written by Dr Hannah Farnsworth

If you are struggling with your mental health, you are not alone. The teenage years can feel difficult, and reaching out for help is a sign of strength.


There are many places you can seek support if you are feeling low, anxious, stressed or having thoughts of hurting yourself.


  1. Teachers or school counsellors

If there is a teacher you like and trust, ask to speak to them privately about how you feel. Talking can feel like a huge relief, and a trusted adult may help you develop strategies to manage your emotions and personal situation.  Alternatively, check if your school or college has a counsellor you can see.


  1. Family doctor or GP

Your doctor can assess your mental health, offer advice, start treatment or refer you for specialist care or counselling if needed. Doctors will keep anything you tell them confidential, unless there is concern for your welfare or the safety of someone else.


  1. Therapist

Therapists and psychologists specialise in helping individuals manage a wide range of mental health issues, from anxiety and depression to self-esteem or identity concerns. Feeling that you are in a safe environment can help you talk openly about how you feel.  Your GP or a trusted teacher might be able to recommend a therapist.


  1. Mental health hotline

If you find it easier to talk on the phone or need to speak to someone urgently for support, choose from one of the following helplines.


The Samaritans 116 123

Pieta House 1800 24 72 47

ISPCC Childline 1800 66 66 66

ISPCC TeenLine 1800 83 36 34


  1. Youth Suicide Prevention Ireland (YSPI)

YSPI provides written resources with guidance, tips and self-help tools designed to help you manage your emotions. Read our information booklets to understand more about your mental health and what you can do to take care of yourself.


YSPI also offers an emergency text service – FreeText HELP to 50015. This service if fully confidential. Alternatively, visit ineedhelp.ie for support.


  1. Apps and self-help tools

Various apps are designed to help you manage stress, anxiety, difficulty relaxing or trouble falling asleep. Calm, Headspace and Breathe are popular choices that offer mindfulness or guided relaxation exercises.


  1. Emergency help

In a mental health emergency, please contact your GP or out of hours service, or go to your local A&E department. In a life-threatening emergency you can call 999 and ask for an ambulance, Gardaí or the fire service as needed.


Getting help when you need it is crucial to managing your mental health. By reaching out to the above sources, you can get the help you need, when you need it. This will help you manage your feelings in that moment, as well as giving you the tools you need to manage your emotional well-being in future.

Posted by Dr Hannah Farnsworth

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