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Keeping An Eye Out

It can be hard to know when to worry about young people – what's normal and when to get more support. It’s common to be unsure how and when to step in and help, or even if you should. 

If you feel something is not quite right, trust your instincts and take action. Talk to them about it, show your support and get involved. It's especially important to check in if their behaviour is completely out of character, or it’s getting in the way of them being able to do things normally. 

Let them know you’re available to talk and give them the time and space to respond. If you are worried, you could suggest they see a doctor or counsellor. Let them know there is help available and they don’t have to feel bad all the time.

If you're really worried right now, especially if you think they're at risk of harming themselves or someone else, have a look at the NEED HELP NOW page to find people who can support you.

You may want to check in with them or get extra support if you notice they:

  • Don't want to see their friends or no longer enjoy spending time with their friends and family 
  • Stop doing things they used to love or don't seem to be enjoying themselves
  • Can't remember things, concentrate, or pay attention
  • Have a big change in their school results or behaviour, such as a big drop in grades 
  • Skip school or work
  • Feel bad about themselves – guilty, whakamā, worthless or ashamed
  • Have a big change in eating patterns or appetite
  • Stay in their room a lot 
  • Sleep a lot or not enough
  • Have no energy and feel tired all the time
  • Have extreme mood swings
  • Feel hopeless or really sad, or cry a lot
  • Feel anxious, stressed, nervous or scared a lot and can't seem to relax
  • Feel angry, hōhā, grumpy or irritable a lot 
  • Get into fights or arguments, become violent or aggressive, or lash out
  • Are not happy unless they're using drugs or alcohol
  • Don't take care of their appearance or personal hygiene
  • Have physical signs of injury or that they are hurting themself
  • Have physical symptoms such as headaches or stomach aches which keep coming back

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