If you have something on your mind it can really help for you to talk to someone; just as our bodies can become unwell, our minds can become unwell too and this is probably more common than you might think.
Young people at your age can sometimes feel stressed, sad, anxious, angry or lonely. You may have had thoughts of or actually self –harmed, you may be being bullied face to face or online through social media websites. Bullying can happen to anyone at anytime, anywhere. Young people have described bullying as being called names, being humiliated, being teased, being pushed/pulled about, having rumours spread about them, made to feel left out, being hit or kicked and/or being threatened.
Social media websites can be lots of fun but they do also have risks-Cyber bullying, Contact by adults with a sexual interest in children and the misuse of personal information. When online you must safeguard yourself-keep all your settings private and keep your password in a safe place, don’t give out too much personal information, don’t meet anyone you have met online without your parents/carers permission , don’t accept messages from people you don’t know and tell someone you trust if someone online makes you feel worried or uncomfortable.
As a parent or carer it can be difficult to monitor what your child is up to online. Most parents and carers trust their children online, but it can be easy for a child to stumble across things that might upset or disturb them. Filtering and moderation packages are a good way to stop the majority of inappropriate and harmful content coming into your home. All internet Service Providers (organisations that pipe the internet into your home, for example Virgin Media, Talk Talk, Sky and BT) provide parental control packages. They are a tool to help you set and change online boundaries in line with your child’s development. There are some great packages out there, some are free and some come at a cost. Each package is different, but most provide services such as:
- Filtering – content to restrict access to particular sites, such as pornographic websites.
- Time limits – restrict the amount of time your child can be online, or set periods of time where your child can access certain sites.
- Monitoring – where you are informed of certain sites that your child is attempting to gain access to.
- Reporting – where you are provided with information about what sites your child has used.
Just remember, Parental controls will never make the internet 100% ‘safe’. They should not be used as a substitute for communicating safety messages to your child. Make sure that you talk to your child about their behaviour online and remember, your home is not the only place they will be accessing the internet!
Abuse can also happen in the home, this is called domestic abuse and is when one grown up hurts or bullies another grown up in their family. Domestic abuse can also happen between couples, whether they are married, are boyfriend and girlfriend or in a same sex relationship. The domestic abuse can be physical, emotional, sexual or financial. Domestic abuse is not the victims fault. If you are concerned about domestic abuse, visit www.womensaid.org and click on ‘THE HIDEOUT’ area.
If something is worrying you, talk privately to a teacher, your school nurse or your GP or if you would prefer, ring Childline confidentially and for free at any time day or night on 0800 1111 or the NSPCC on 0808 800 5000.
You could also go online to:
The Muslim women’s helpline aims to provide any Muslim girl or woman in a crisis with free, confidential support, call 020 8904 8193 0r 020 8908 6715.
If you are a parent concerned about your child or a young person you could call young minds for parents on 0808 802 5544 or talk to a professional such as your GP or the young person’s school.