Issue 96 is out now
Lucy Corkhill

By Lucy Corkhill

16th July 2013

Do you know a teenager who needs help? Whilst we hope that young people would turn to their parents or elders for advice and support, this is often a time in their lives when they push away from those around them and can become increasingly isolated. According to a Unicef study, UK kids are some of the most unhappy in the industrialised world.

Lucy Corkhill

By Lucy Corkhill

16th July 2013

Lucy Corkhill

By Lucy Corkhill

16th July 2013

In the long term, it’s important to deal with the causes of such unhappiness but sometimes the results of it can be overwhelming for parents coping alone. Self harm, eating disorders, drug and alcohol abuse, indiscriminate sexual activity, low self esteem and suicidal behaviour put a lot of pressure on young people and their families. Perhaps the situation is serious and you know you need professional help to be able to deal with it. It’s good to know that there are sources of support for unhappy young people just a click of the mouse away.

Get Connected is a free, confidential helpline for young people under 25 who need help but don’t know where to turn. Trained Helpline volunteers are available 365 days a year and are contactable via phone, webchat, email, and text. Get Connected also have an online directory WebHelp 24/7 which has information on a huge variety of issues.

Last year, Get Connected Helpline Volunteers directly helped around 200 children and young people struggling with a range of problems including homelessness, self harm, bullying and drugs. When a young person gets in touch using the routes above, one of Get Connected’s 100 trained Helpline Volunteers offers confidential emotional support for them to explore their issues. They often put the young person in touch with further specialist help from their database of 10,000 trusted sources. Having lots of ways of getting in touch means that young people can choose the method of communication that feels most comfortable for them at that time – often when they feel too upset, isolated or nervous to pick up the phone.

Get Connected was set up in 1999 by a partnership between the Suzy Lamplugh Trust and the British Transport Police, with support from Railway Children. The aim was to provide help to young people under 25 who had run away from home or been thrown out. They offered a vital support system to lonely, frightened young people who often had no one else to turn to. They were then able to put these youngsters in touch with the further help they might need. The service was expanded to offer support to any person under 25. Their mission has always been to empower young people to make their own decisions about the help they need – whether it’s counselling, mediation or a bed for the night. As well as offering information about further services, they also give young people emotional support.

If you feel that a young person could benefit from talking to one of the Get Connected volunteers, visit their website, call them free on 0808 808 4994 between 1pm and 11pm, or text them on 80849. The website offers more information about the webchat and email options.

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