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Fact Sheet

Talking to your family


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Family members can support you

Sometimes when you go through a tough time, you may need someone to talk to. If you think about it, talking to someone who is willing to listen really makes a difference and sometimes the best people to talk to may be your own family.

Members of a family generally look out for each other and have only each other’s best interests in mind. You may sometimes feel like your family is too nosy about your business or might ask you questions about your problem that you don’t want to answer but remember that they are doing it because they care.

There might be one member of your family that you can talk to or several. Some families have “family meetings” to go over problems or big decisions. Talking to an older family member can be good because they may have had a similar problem or concern in the past. Sometimes a family member that is not in your immediate family like an uncle, cousin and grandparent might be the right person to talk to.

It is natural to feel like you don’t want to let them down with your personal problems but remember in most families, they only care about you. Here are some questions you can ask yourself to figure out who you might talk to in your family:

  • Will they give me a hard time?
  • Will they make me more upset?
  • Can they offer me the help I need?
  • Will our talk be kept a secret?
  • If I tell them something personal, will they think of me differently?
  • What do I hope to hear in return?

There are some families where it might not be okay to talk to them about your problems. Or some problems that you would not want to discuss with your family members.

I feel like I can’t talk to anyone in my family about my problem

Families can cause a lot of stress and may not be the right place to find someone to talk to about your problem. Even if they are understanding, you may still not want to talk to them about what is troubling you. If you feel like you can’t talk to anyone in your family you can always talk to a teacher, mental health professional or even a friend. But if you are in a crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). You can call the Boys Town National Hotline at 1-800-448-3000 for someone to talk to 24/7.

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