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Talking With Someone

It can help to talk with someone about how you're feeling. They can listen to you or help you look at things differently. They might also be able to help you figure out why you feel like you do.

Talking about things can be helpful in itself. Sharing can make you feel less alone and help relieve the stress of coping by yourself. The other person may be able to offer reassurance, support, information, or help you connect with services.

Thinking about the questions below can help you get started:

Who Do I Want To Talk To?

When choosing someone to talk to, look for someone you're comfortable with and trust—a person who won’t make fun of you or make you feel like your problem isn’t a big deal, will respect your privacy, will take you seriously, and will be understanding and accepting. If you just want to talk, a friend may be a great choice. If you’re looking for professional help, an adult, such as a parent or doctor, might be a better choice.

  • Parent (for tips on talking to your parents about depression visit KidsHealth)
  • Another family member (e.g., grandparent, aunt, sibling, cousin)
  • Partner/Boyfriend/Girlfriend/Spouse
  • Friend
  • Co-worker
  • Teacher/School counsellor
  • Family Doctor
  • Peer support volunteers/counsellors
  • Distress Line Volunteer

What Kind of Help do I Want From Them?

  • Just to talk
  • To find out where you can get more info
  • Help finding services such as counselling

How Do I Want to Communicate?

  • Face-to-face
  • Phone
  • Online
  • Email

Starting the Conversation

  • Let them know you have something you want to talk about. You might want to write down what you want to say.
  • Start by explaining that you need some help with a problem. Think of some examples from your life as this may help them to better understand what’s going on.
  • If you’re not sure how the person will react, try “testing the waters”. For example, talk about a story you read in the news and see how the person reacts. This will give you an idea of their views and whether they’re likely to be sympathetic.
  • You could also start conversation more generally—talk about how you’ve not been feeling great, rather than saying you’re feeling depressed, anxious, or stressed.

Be prepared for a range of different reactions. Remember that someone’s first reaction won’t be the same as their reaction when they’ve had time to process what you’ve said. Life’s full of ups and downs, and sharing our experiences with the people who care about us is natural and healthy.

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