Mental wellbeing for young people

< Back to

I want it to be better but I don't know what to do first?

Kate Middleton photo Kate Middleton · 17 Feb, 2021

I want it to be better but I don’t know what my first steps to talking to someone is. Do you have any reaching out advice?

Siyana, 16

Hey Siyana,

First of all Massive WELL DONE! 🙌🏻 Because what you have done already takes so much guts and thinking and it's a brilliant step to recognise that you want things to change.

Secondly, here's an encouraging fistbump from me 👊 Because this stuff ain't easy and it sounds like you're dealing with some tough things right now. And it's a vulnerable place to be, admitting this isn't good but not yet being able to see yourself moving forwards. So let me say - even though it feels like nothing has changed yet, you've taken the first step into better things.

Ok now - let's think practical. Working through any stuff in your head is a bit like playing tennis. So there's some work you can do on your own - a bit like hitting a ball against a wall or something. So you can journal, read a book, find some self-help tools from an app or website, go for a long walk and ponder things through, listen to some podcasts ... you get the idea. But it's always more fun to play tennis with someone else. So you could do that with a good mate, just bash the ball back and forth, talk things through a bit, bounce some thoughts around. But sometimes it is good to play tennis with someone who knows a bit more about it than you. So this might be an adult you trust - could be a parent but it might be nice to get an outside space to chat - so a youth worker, teacher, friend, relative? Is there someone you could grab a coffee with and start to share a bit?

And finally - of course there is the professional space - that's a bit like finding a coach, someone who can look at your tennis game and help you make changes, guide you in that stuff, using their expertise to make things feel and play better. But sometimes the earlier stages help you decide that this is what you want/need - and take the steps to finding the right person.

Remember too that there are some good anonymous spaces you can chat. These can be GREAT first steps - people who will not know you or judge you - spaces where you can chat and share and start to think about what you want. The Mix is a website aimed at under 25s - and has options for 121 chat and a forum too. Childline also have a helpline, or offer 121 chat with a counsellor - and they have message boards too. So these might be good places to start, and to get some good advice.

And finally - if you're at the point of wanting to find someone to work with more regularly, the best place to start is your GP. In fact, they're a good place to start anyway - they can check you out physically too, chat about everything that is going on, and help you make good decisions about what you need. I know COVID is making things feel harder - but actually most GPs are doing telephone chats first - so in some ways that might be easier for you - why not get in touch with yours and give it a go?

Keep moving forwards Siyana, you're doing awesome. I'm saying a prayer for you right now and I promise there are better days ahead x



How do you approach your GP, without your parents knowing?


Is there POTENTIAL in the midst of PRESSURE?

Is there POTENTIAL in the midst of PRESSURE?