Can they do this to me?
Clash or match?
Getting it together - friends, girlfriends, boyfriends
Getting through the hard stuff
Love or creepy?
Male and female
Playing safe online
What can I do about an abusive relationship?
- Can I get them to change?
- It's not ok - what now?
- Should I leave them?
- Should I speak up?
- Will a baby make things better?
- Frequently asked questions about telling someone
- How can the law or police protect me?
- Getting Safe - Action Plan
- Are you being hurt by one of your parents or someone else?
- Things to help you feel safe
- How to tell someone
- What can CAPS do for you? Free, non-judgemental support
When is it not okay?
- An abusive relationship
- What is abuse?
- Frequently asked questions about domestic violence
- What is child abuse?
- Domestic Violence (DV) and Family Violence - what do they mean?
- Relationship violence
- Domestic violence - facts
- Violence - What is violence, what can violence do, what can you do if you are experiencing violence, what can you do if you are violent to other people?
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
I'm a boy aged 15 and lately I've been feeling really down. I don't know what's changed but I don't seem to feel happy any more. I feel tired, useless and sad all the time. I get angry at people for silly things, too, like laughing at a joke. Sometimes, little things will start to really annoy me and I'll go into a really terrible mood. Some days, it can be really bad and I can't face getting out of bed. It's like there's a dark cloud hanging over me. I've become quite withdrawn, too, and I don't see my mates outside school. I don't know why I'm feeling like this but it's starting to get in the way of my life. I can't cope with it on my own any more.
While this sounds like a tough time for you, it's really good that you've been able to notice the recent changes in yourself, and - most importantly - that you are reaching out and seeking help. Some of these changes you describe can happen when a person is experiencing depression or a depressed mood. At such times people can feel unusually tired, low, sick, sad or blue, and these feelings can cause them to withdraw from people, places and activities they would otherwise enjoy. Their sleep, eating, ability to think straight and look after themselves can also be affected, as can their sense of self worth. They might even start thinking the tough times will never end, and that can make them feel worse and worse. The depression is often a reaction to things that have been happening in our lives, but sometimes it can seem to come on out of the blue and might be the result of an underlying health issue. Either way, many young people (about 25%) describe feeling the way you do at some point during their teens , and so there's a lot of information available to better understand what's going on, and many people and places who can help deal with it.
It's sometimes hard to understand what may have changed to bring on some of the dark moods you describe, but it's likely that at 15 there's a lot going on for you: major body, thought and feeling changes either happening or 'waiting' to happen; more responsibilities and pressure at home and at school; being a whole lot more sensitive about what friends say and think about you; maybe having some disagreements with mum, dad, siblings or friends; sometimes wishing you were already an adult and able to do things your way; and on other occasions perhaps wishing you were still warm and safe as a kid with no worries about all this stuff. It is possible that if you took time to look, you could identify some things that might have happened recently which you've interpreted in a way that's upset you somehow: which may have triggered anxiety, anger or sadness within you. Sometimes we get too busy to notice the particular things that upset us, or it may just feel too uncomfortable for us to dwell on those things. Yet if we are already in a worried, angry or sad frame of mind, and don't do something to deal with those feelings and the situations which they are connected to, we can become sensitive to seeing a lot of other situations that come up as sad or stressful too: to be feeling down and to start interpreting more and more situations, comments, actions we notice around us as in some way negative. It can feel like we're in a deep hole getting deeper.
One of the tricks our minds can play when going through a low, blue time is to tell us that 'no one understands and nothing can help'. So, on top of everything else, we can start to feel totally alone. Yet nothing could be further from the truth. It's at times like these that it's essential to talk to someone and get some help, even if part of you doesn't want to. There is a range of people and approaches available to help sort this out. Some of those approaches include counselling and other therapies, better eating, exercise and relaxation techniques. Talk honestly to trustworthy, responsible people in you life about how you're feeling: your school counsellor, teacher, parent or other adult relative or friend. Your doctor and local Community Health Centre are equipped to provide important information and help to you too. Let them know how bad things are - including if you ever feel so bad that you think of harming yourself. There are also some excellent websites designed for young people, as well as confidential online and telephone counselling services:
- www.itsallright.org.au ‐ a website established by SANE
- Family Help Kit - issued by Centre for Mental Health, New South Wales Department of Health www.health.nsw.gov.au/policy/cmh/publications/Family_Help_Kit.pdf
- Australian Infant, Child, Adolescent and Family Mental Health Association www.aicafmha.net.au
- Kidshelpline: 1800 55 1800
They can start helping you clear the dark clouds hanging over you, and assist you with strategies and activities to see and experience life differently again.