There may be something wrong and you don't know exactly what to do. Maybe you feel differently and you are unsure why. Maybe something has happened and you feel like it is too big a problem to cope with. Have a look here for some ideas on places that you can get support.

Mental ill health is just the same as any other illness - only you cannot see it.  It's important to remember that having a mental illness is not a sign of weakness.  Check out our facts section to find out more.

It's also important to say that sometimes we can be really stressed about things and we are not mentally ill.  Things might happen in our lives that are upsetting, worrying or really impact on us in some way or another.

Whether you are feeling ill or whether life is throwing you too many punches for you to cope with right now - we want you to be brave and make the first step in asking for help.  That is what this section is all about.

Who do I tell?

Opening up about something for the first time is really difficult.  It takes a lot of guts to do it and what is important is that you do that with someone you trust.  Holding something inside does not deal with it - as hard as that can be to hear it really will help to get what is bothering you off your chest.

There are people out there who want to help you.  Your first step is to talk to someone you trust.

That could be a family member, your pupil support teacher, a friend, a social worker, your GP, a school nurse, a youth worker - someone who you trust and who you know will listen to what you have to say.  You could also try a support helpline to start off with - talking to someone confidentially who does not know you might be easier to start off with.  You could try Childline or the Samaritans - their numbers are also shown in support sources below.

If for any reason the first person you talk to doesn't seem very helpful then try again or speak to someone else. Your safety and welfare is really important to us.

Once I tell someone then what?

That depends on what is happening for you but the person you have spoken to will have listened to what is happening, how you are feeling and along with you will chat about what can happen next.

It may be that the person you speak to helps you to access a local support source or they help you go to somewhere where you can get a clearer idea of who can help or give you advice on what to do.  We're sorry that's not a very clear answer but it really does depend on your situation.  What is important is you have taken the first important steps and you are really brave for doing that.  That's not a cheesy statement btw - trust us, we know how hard it is.

In support sources below we have detailed various places where you can access help - some are based in Shetland and others are national helplines.

The main thing to remember, regardless of what is going on for you, is that once you have shared what is bothering you then you can get access to the right help and support.  If the person you have spoken to is unsure where to get help then maybe you can both look at this section for some ideas on where to go next (if that is what is needed).

If you need urgent help then please seek help from someone you trust now or one of the helplines shown below. 

Please click here for information on what to do if you are feeling suicidal.

We are hoping to launch our own support service for young people really soon so we cannot offer direct help right now.  Find our more here.

If you are really unsure of where to get help then contact us - please remember though that our social media and online contact facilities are not monitored 24 hours a day.  We will not be able to help you with your worry or concern directly but we will reply to your message (within 48 hours) with suggestions of places or helplines to contact.

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