Finding Help

Everyone has their ups and downs in life but sometimes you might find you are going through a difficult issue that you need some help with. Even if it's a problem that you are not sure about, it's better to get some support and advice than to struggle on alone. Hopefully this website will give you some of the information that you might be looking for.

Life can be pretty stressful at times so you need to make sure you look after your overall well-being. Our well being section deals with a range of issues from school, friends and parents to depression, alcohol and drugs.

Other sections cover the issues of Domestic Abuse, Separation, Parental Drug or Alcohol Problems, Bullying and Death.

There is also more information at the bottom of the page with names and contact details of useful organisations and websites for young people.

No matter what the question or the problem, there is always someone that can help.

Taking Care of You

It is important to take steps to look after your well-being.  Remember, you are worth looking after.

  • Eat and sleep
    Eating right and getting enough sleep (at least 8/9 hours each night) are two great stress-busters! You'll feel alert and rested and better able to cope with the changes and hiccups life will bring.
  • Be active 
    Being physically active, especially outdoors, can give you energy and help make you feel more positive and happy. 
    ‘My sports helped mainly, because it took my mind off it... I knew I was good at something else so I just kept doing that.' (Stacy, aged 14)
  • Think positive thoughts
    You can feel good by saying and thinking positive things about yourself.
  • Keep in touch 
    Remember how important you are to your friends. Don't cut yourself off. Spend time with people who make you feel good about yourself.
  • Focus on you
    Try to separate family problems from your own. These are for your parents to sort out. Instead, focus on the things that help you to deal with your new circumstances. This includes having fun and spending time doing things you enjoy.
  • Set goals
    Think about the things you want in your life and set goals to achieve them.
  • Find a mentor
    Identify an adult who can be a mentor or role model in your life. This might be a family member or someone else you trust and respect.
  • Avoid negative behaviour
    Avoid behaviours that end up making you feel worse or put your well-being and safety at risk. Get the support and help you need to deal with your feelings.
  • Keep safe
    You have the right to be safe all the time. If you don't feel safe, talk to someone you trust or contact one of the support services listed below.
  • Speak up
    Speak up if there is a problem, for example a conflict between your parents and you feel stuck in the middle. It is upsetting, stressful and not fair on you.
  • Work at family relationships
    Try to keep up your relationships with relatives you care about from both sides of your family. Let your parents know how important this is to you.
  • Ask for help
    Never hesitate to ask for help if you need it. Let others support you along the way. It does make a difference!

This website is NOT intended to be used as a substitute for advice and treatment from a qualified medical professional. See our terms of use.

Finding Help

Everyone needs help from time to time and there is nothing wrong with asking for it. It may help to talk to a friend, family member or someone else you trust. They can also support you in finding professional advice and help if you need it.

If you don’t want to talk to someone you know, try one of many support organisations that will be more than willing to help. These include free helplines, text support services, websites, drop-in centres, support groups, counselling and also services that offer immediate help in a crisis, some 24 hours a day.

When looking for help

It’s important to tell all the facts about your problem. Try not to be put off if services are busy, unable to help straight away or seem different to what you were expecting. Hang in there. You have a right to be listened to and to receive the help you need. If a particular service can’t help, ask them who can. 

If you want your problem kept confidential, remember to ask if this is possible. In situations of abuse or violence this is unlikely because of worries about your safety and those of others who might be at risk of harm too. Don’t let this put you off. You have a right to be safe. Organisations are obliged to report these issues so that young people can get the help and protection they need.

Support Services

  • General Support
    • ChildLine gives support to young people through a freephone 24 hour listening service and through it’s website. All calls are free of charge and confidential. 
      Freephone Helpline: 1800 666 666 
      Text support: Text list to 50101 (This is an automated free text support service)

    • The Citizens Information Service provides free information about all public services in Ireland.
      Lo-call 1890 777 121

    • The Family Support Agency [wrong link - links to farm safety guide] supports Family Resource Centres, marriage/ relationship, bereavement & child counselling services and operates the Family Mediation Service.

    • The Family Resource Centre National Forum is a national representative body working with Family Resource Centres located in communities throughout Ireland.

    • Teenfocus is a support service to teenagers 13–18 who are experiencing difficulties. It is run by the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children.

    • Let Someonone Know [link to http://www.letsomeoneknow.ie broken] is an Irish website for teenagers covering a range of different issues relevant to teenagers’ lives.

    • SpunOut is an online interactive support and information service for young people. It covers a range of issues relevant to young peoples’ lives and provides useful signposts to support services available.

    • Teen-Line Ireland is a confidential helpline service for teenagers, dealing with any problems or worries they are experiencing. Freephone helpline: 1800 833 634 8pm to 11pm  Text Teen to 50015

    • Teenspace [link to http://www.teenspace.ie broken] is a national website that provides information on events, activities and recreation services for young people aged 12–18 years.

    • Youth Information Centres are based in many towns and cities and provide a free, confidential, service to young people and to those who work with them, on wide range of subjects including careers, education, employment matters, rights and entitlements, leisure, sport, travel and european opportunities.

    • The National Youth Council of Ireland is a representative body for voluntary national youth organisations. It can help you to find youth services in your area.
  • Your Rights

    For information about your rights contact:

  • Mental health & well-being
    • Aware is an organisation that provides information and emotional support to those who experience depression, and their families.
      Freephone: 1800 80 48 48
    • Grow helps people who have suffered, or are suffering from mental health problems

    • Headstrong works with communities to ensure that young people in Ireland are better supported to achieve mental health and well-being. Jigsaw in conjunction with Headstrong is a community-based service actively supporting young people to achieve positive mental health and well-being.

    • Mental Health Ireland is a national voluntary organisation which aims to promote mental health and support persons with a mental illness.

    • The National office for Suicide Prevention can help to provide information about support services in your area.

    • Pieta House is a centre that offers help to people thinking about suicide or self-harm.

    • The Samaritans is a 24-hour, confidential support service for anyone who is experiencing feelings of distress or despair, including those who have thoughts of suicide, and want someone to talk to. Call save: 1850 60 90 90

    • Reachout offers information and support to young people going through a tough time.


    Remember
    , if you or someone you know is at risk of suicide or harming themselves, immediately: 


      * Contact your local doctor or go to the Accident & Emergency 
         department of the nearest hospital. 
      * Call 999 to contact the emergency services.

  • Pregnancy & Sexuality
    • BeLonG To is an organisation for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered young people.

    • Crisis Pregnancy Agency offers information on Irish pregnancy counselling

    • Waterford Student Mothers’ Group Ltd supports young mothers and young expectant mothers in Waterford City and Tramore to remain in second level education and to progress to further training, education and into the workplace. The Project Worker can be contacted at Tel: 051 844220, Mobile: 0876472019, Email: info@wsm.barnardos.ie
  • Teenage parents
    • One Family supports all members of one parent families in Ireland

    • Treoir provides information on support services for teenage parents
  • Eating disorders
    • Bodywhys offers support, information and understanding for people with eating disorders.

    • Iceberg [link to http://www.eatingdisorderselfhelp.com not working] is a website dedicated to supporting sufferers of eating distress and eating disorders along the path to recovery.
  • Counselling
    • Teen Counselling is a professional counselling service provided through Crosscare, for 12–18 year olds and their parents.

    • A GP (Family doctor) or others such as a youth worker or school guidance counselor can help you to find a professional counsellor or therapist in your area.
  • Separation
    • The Family Mediation Service [link http://www.fsa.ie to a farming website] is a free mediation service, operated by the Family Support Agency, to assist couples to negotiate the terms of their separation.

    • Rainbows ‘Spectrum Programme’ is a service that runs support programmes for young people who have experienced separation or divorce. The ‘Spectrum Programme’ is specifically for 12-18 year olds.

    • Teen Between [link to www.teenbetween.ie broken] is a free specialised counselling service to help 12–18 year olds deal with their parent’s separation or divorce. The service is also provided throughout the country by Youth Work Ireland.
  • Keeping safe

    You have a right to be safe. If ever you don’t feel safe:

    • Talk to an adult who you trust

    • Contact Childline for information and support
      Freephone Helpline: 1800 666 666
      Text support: Text list to 50101

    • Contact CARI
      Cari provides a confidential help line service for anyone with concerns about sexual abuse of a child or young person. CARI also provides a counselling service. 
      Lo-call helpline: 1890 924567
      E-mail: helpline@cari.ie
    • Contact a social worker at your local HSE health centre. For details of services in your area, contact: HSE Infoline
      Lo-call 1850 24 1850

    • Contact the Women’s Aid National Freephone Helpline 1800 341 900 or your local domestic abuse support service or refuge.
      Email: info@womensaid.ie

    • Contact the Gardaí at your local Garda station

    • Contact the National Youth Council of Ireland Child Protection Unit

    If you are ever in Danger:


      * Contact an adult who you trust immediately
      * Call the Guards on 999
  • Domestic abuse
    • See the section on Keeping Safe above.

    • Contact the Women’s Aid National Freephone Helpline 1800 341 900 or your local domestic abuse support service or refuge.
  • Death/Bereavement
    • Barnardos Children's Bereavement Service is a service for children and young people run by Barnardos.
      Dublin, Tel: 01 453 0355, Email: bereavement@barnardos.ie
      Cork, Tel: 021 431 0591, Email: bereavement@cork.barnardos.ie
      Barnardos Bereavement Helpline, Tel: 01 4732110 (Monday–Thursday 10am-12noon)
      The Bereavement Counselling Service, Administration Office, Dublin Street, Baldoyle, Dublin 13, Tel: 01 8391766

    • Console [link to http://www.console.ie broken] supports and helps people bereaved through suicide.
      FREEPHONE: 1800 201 890

    • Rainbows ‘Spectrum Programme’ is a service that runs support group programmes for young people who have experienced loss due to bereavement or separation/ divorce. The ‘Spectrum Programme’ is specifically for 12-18 year olds.

     

    The following are interactive information and support sites for young people dealing with a bereavement: