ON A KINDER NOTE with Dolly's Dream | What happens when you call a helpline?

Some teens may feel nervous about calling a helpline. Picture: Shutterstock

Some teens may feel nervous about calling a helpline. Picture: Shutterstock

Adults often encourage their children to call a free counselling line if they're feeling distressed, but some teens are nervous about calling.

Firstly, you don't need anyone's permission to call, and you don't have to talk on the phone!

Many helplines offer counselling via WebChat, email or SMS, too.

When you do call:

  • You'll hear a recorded message, explaining the service.
  • You may be asked whether you'd like a male or female counsellor.
  • You may have for wait in a queue.
  • You don't have to give your real name.
  • Some services may ask for your postcode or email address.
  • They may offer translation services.
  • The counsellor will ask what you'd like to talk about, how you're feeling, and what you need from this call. It's okay if you're not sure!
  • You can talk to the counsellor about anything. They will listen respectfully, without judgement.
  • The counsellor will help you understand your feelings and figure out what to do next.
  • They can connect you with other services.
  • The counsellor will keep what you say private, unless anyone is at risk of serious harm.

For help, contact Kids Helpline (1800 55 1800), Lifeline (13 11 14), eheadspace, Parentline, or Griefline.