To get the best possible experience using our website we recommend that you upgrade to a newer version or other web browser. IE8 is no longer supported. A list of the most popular web browsers can be found below. Click on the links to get to the download page.
Each month we feature a Common Advice Blog piece. The Common Ground Panel of professionals answer one of your questions on how to support a young person dealing with difficult situations in their lives or a young person experiencing a mental illness.
Hi there, I am 14 years old. My friend's parent's have just split up and she's feeling really down about the holidays coming up. I'm worried about how she's going to handle this first Christmas and she seems really worried about splitting time between her parents. What can I do to help her get through this Christmas so she doesn't feel so down?Read the panel's response
"Hi, I am a 15-year- old that lives in Rangiora. One of my best friends has always been really close with her nana, but her nana just passed away over the weekend. I knew her nana but not really well. She’s really upset, and I don’t know how to help her because I’ve never lost someone close to me. I don’t know what to say to make it better, or even just how to help her. What should I say?"Read the panel's response
"My son is going through a difficult time with his divorce. He is drinking more and more every day and I’m worried about him and the effect his drinking is having on my grandchildren who are 13 and 15 years old. I don’t know how or if they are coping with everything that’s going on. I don’t want them to start drinking too, but I just don’t know what to say to them. Please help."Read the panel's response
"I'm a year 13 student and I've been worried about my boyfriend for a while. I think he's having some troubles. He's half Samoan and half Pakeha and I've seen him treated differently from both sides because of it. When I go to church with him I notice that he isn't treated like the rest of his mates, and at school he doesn't really have a friend group he sticks with. I'm South African but I've lived here forever, and I get what it's like to be treated like you're different. I've tried to talk to him about it but he just gets angry and shuts down saying he doesn't want to talk. I don't know what to do. How can I help?"Read the panel's response
My daughter started high school at the start of this year. Since then, she has become really withdrawn around home, and I've recently found out she has been skipping classes. When I've tried to ask her about what is going on, she won't talk about it much, but has said that she doesn't feel like she fits in and some girls at school are saying things about her behind her back. I think she is being bullied, and I'm not sure how to help her?Read the panel's response and comments(4)