Factsheets -

Can they do this to me?

Being bullied at school
Is this discrimination?
Factsheets -

Clash or match?

What if they are older than me?
Long distance loving
Factsheets -

Getting it together - friends, girlfriends, boyfriends

Getting serious - or not
Personal space
How can I make my relationship work?
Factsheets -

Getting through the hard stuff

Surviving sexual assault - (young men)
Surviving sexual assault - (young women)
Factsheets -

Happy families

Where can I go for help with getting along with my family?
Factsheets -

Love or creepy?

Scary dates
Factsheets -

Male and female

Challenge the old ways
Factsheets -

Playing safe online

Grossing me out
Factsheets -

What can I do about an abusive relationship?

Factsheets -

When is it not okay?

Am I being abusive?
What about child abuse?
Factsheets -

Who can help?

If you are in danger call 000 or
tell someone you can trust

If you would just like to talk to
someone, help is at your fingertips ...

All the services below are available and free* for young people to use.
All the 1800 numbers operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
The person you speak to will be an experienced counsellor, not the police, not a government department.
You will not have to give your name.

* Please note that all mobile phone calls made from within Australia to Kids Helpline—using Optus (including Virgin), Vodafone, and Telstra—and 1800 Respect—using Telstra—are now free.

Relationship Advice

Are you having problems with a friend, partner or family member or would you just like to talk to someone about where to "draw the line"?

Call 1800 MYLINE (1800 695 463)
or Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800.

Kids Helpline: 1800 55 1800

Online Safety and Cyberbullying

Are you being bullied online or has something happened online that makes you feel uncomfortable, scared or sad?

Call Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800
or go to the Kids Helpline online
counselling service

Relationship Violence

Are you or have you been:

  • scared of someone hurting you?
  • sexually assaulted?
  • concerned about violence in a relationship with a friend, partner or family member?

Call 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732) or
talk to a counsellor online.

Crisis Support, Suicide and Mental Health

If you would like to talk to someone about anxiety, depression, loneliness, suicidal thoughts or attempts:

Call Lifeline on 13 11 14

To find out how to report cyberbullying, offensive content, scams or online abuse, or just find out more about cybersafety, check out the Cybersmart website.

You can also download the Cybersafety Help Button to your computer for help and advice on a range of online risks including cyberbullying, unwanted contact, scams and fraud, and offensive or inappropriate material.

Legal rights and responsibilities

If you want some legal information you can go to the Lawstuff website and search in your state or territory. If you can't find what you want, you can send a legal question to Lawmail. Lawyers will reply to your message as quickly as possible, usually within 6 days.

Assisted Call Services

For the Translating and Interpreting Service please call 13 14 50. If you are deaf or have a hearing impairment, you can call the National Relay Service on 13 36 77.

Your Questions

Read responses from our expert psychologist, to some of the most commonly faced issues

The questions and answers below on this page help provide advice to others who may be in a similar situation. Please note the advice provided on this page is of a general nature and not specific to any individual or personal circumstance.

Please do not send questions raising urgent issues. If you need help, see our contact details for free counselling services.

The circumstances described in some of the questions below may raise legal issues. We suggest that contact be made with the Police or with a lawyer to find out what assistance or options may be available in these circumstances.

Previous Questions

My life is a disgrace and I am only 13. I think my family hates me. At school, I am always the last one to be picked for teams. I have some friends who stick up for me, but my family and other people do not listen to me, which I do not understand! Can you help?

There are times in everyone’s lives when nothing seems to be going right, or worse - when everything actually seems to be going badly. At times like this, it can feel like there’s a dark cloud hanging over us each day, and we start only seeing the bad things that are happening (and some good things might even go unnoticed). Then, we think things will always be this awful and we feel even worse. This way of feeling more and more ‘down’ can sometimes be called a ‘negative spiral’: it’s as if our mood was like a corkscrew digging ever deeper into the cork. It sounds like there are a number of hard things happening in your life that are really upsetting you, and that you might be stuck in a negative spiral. The good news is that things can and do change, and there are things you can do to help that happen. The first step might be to try and get clear on what’s really going on in some difficult areas of your life: to better understand any sadness, hurt and anger you may be feeling, and why it’s there. Then you can see what you can and cannot change about these things. Remember, that you don’t have to do any of this on your own either. There are people out there who will listen to you and can help.

You are at an age where you may be changing a lot faster than the world around you: your body, how you think, what you understand about things and how you see what’s going on in your daily life. There are some great things about this (some of which you may only experience when you’re a bit older) and some frustrating things too. You may become hyper-self conscious for a while and become more sensitive about some things and grouchy about others. Your family might look at you and think ‘boy - this person is really changing!?’. Hopefully they will realise that such change is a natural part of your development, but often a family’s first reaction is to try to keep things the way they are used to, and this can lead to misunderstanding and arguments between family members. Most parents soon realise that this is not the way to help their teenage child and the family as a whole to cope with such a time of change. They hopefully learn new ways of responding and communicate with all their kids so that everyone in the family is at least ‘on the same side with the same plan’. While it might seem like your parents are not on your side right now, they just might not realise how bad you’re feeling. Even more-so if they are not listening to you. If you were able to tell them do you think they would help? Are there any other trusted adults in your life that you can talk to? Again, arguing with each other can be a natural part of this change process and can be reduced if everyone learns a different, better way. You could suggest to you parents that they call Parentline (1300 30 1300). Not only could they learn more about how to help you, but also how to deal with any brothers or sisters who may be adding to your problems. Meanwhile, can you think of something you can do to help the situation at home? Can you change any of your own behaviour to assist? Can you try communicating with your parents in a different way? Better picking your time to talk, and using your words and tone of voice in a way that might make it easier for them to hear your message? Kidshelpline phone counsellors (1800 55 1800) could certainly help you understand what’s going on for you at home and how to better deal with it.

Then there’s what’s happening at school. Being chosen last for sports teams can be both painful and embarrassing. How you deal with that pain and embarrassment can make this experience better or worse than it needs to be. Some people let themselves think that being picked last for teams must mean that they are the worst kid - period. So then, not only are they dealing with the original pain of being picked last, but they also feel a whole lot worse about life in general. Another way of dealing with this is to understand that it’s natural to be unhappy when disappointing things happen, but to also realise that this sadness is happening in a few upsetting areas during one stage of your whole life: your present pain in this and other parts of your life does not condemn you so that ‘this is all you are for the rest of your life’. If you see this as one problem to solve, or a difficult time that you can find a way through, you may start thinking of ways to make yourself more ‘pickable’ for the teams - either by training to be better at activities and doing your best once you are picked, or by choosing alternative activities that you may be better at. Meanwhile, there are some kids that don’t even have friends - let alone those that would stick up for them like your friends do. Your friends’ behaviour shows that you must have some positives about you - perhaps more than you can see right now. One big one is that you do have friends that appreciate and stand up for you.

When things feel this bad though, sadness and anger may seem like your closest companions. Pain is part of our humanity- sometimes you’ve got to experience pain before time and experience help your understanding around the problem to change. Once that happens you will to be able to make something better out of it. It is important that you do have people that listen to you at this time. You’ve done a good thing in reaching out for support. Your school counsellor or Kidshelpline counsellors can listen to you and assist you with ‘morphing strategies‘ to change your current view of your life - identifying what you can do to improve things, and who else can help you. Some of the kindest, most respected and successful people have gone through many struggles, much pain and deep disappointment. What has made them both stronger and more sensitive towards the needs of others is that very experience of pain, and of finding a way through it. Nothing in life is as certain as change, and everything you are currently going through will pass with time. Whether these experiences become scars or stars for you will depend on how you view them and what you do about them. Far from breaking you, they could be the making of you.

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