Teenagers, children, learners of all ages. Everyone struggles with different types of difficulties, whether it is suicide thoughts, self-harm or feelings of sadness. It is important to know that someone is out there that can help you. People do care about you - you may not know that yet.
When you are feeling those uncomfortable and often dredged feelings in your stomach, in your chest and sometimes even in your head, hands or feet - remember there are things you can do to get help.
Step 1: Go to the teacher you feel most comfortable with. This may be a sports coach, your class teacher or even someone who taught you a year or two ago that is at your school. If you don’t have a specific teacher you feel most comfortable with, why not go to the school psychologist, your class teacher, your life orientation teacher or the teacher in charge of your grade.
Remember no one is going to judge you. Your teachers are there to help and support you.
Step 2: Tell this person, that you have chosen, how you are feeling and you would like to talk about it. Tell them you would like help.
Step 3: Make an appointment with a Counselor, Psychologist or Psychiatrist. Someone who can support you, once a week or however often you need to talk to them.
If you need immediate help in the moment, phone The South African Depression and Anxiety Group (0800 567 567) for more support.
Here are some important things that you can do at home, at school or when you are feeling these uncomfortable and difficult situations:
Take 10 deep breathes and imagine this air giving you energy, in all parts of your body.
Say it out loud. 5 things that you can see, 4 things that you can touch, 3 things that you can hear, 2 things that you can smell and 1 thing that you can taste.
Squeeze your hands together and flick them out. Do this 5 or 6 times, or until you start to feel better.
Write your feelings down on a page or draw a picture.
Run as fast as you can or jump as high as you can.
Remember, you can do things to help you in the moment but it is always better to talk to someone about your feelings.