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Our stories

0800 What’s Up is a vital place for children and young people to turn when they need help. Help to feel safe, supported and secure, and to develop the skills to cope with their problems now and in the future. 


Tracey rang 0800 What's Up because she was worried about a friend whose parents were drinking a lot and often leaving her home alone for hours at a time scared and hungry.  Tracey told our counsellor she often took extra food to school for her friend because her parents didn't spend a lot of money on groceries and there was never enough food in the house.   

Our counsellor talked with Tracey and together they explored what she could do to help her friend’s situation. By the end, Tracey said she didn’t feel as worried about talking to someone and felt confident enough to tell her mum, who could help her to help her friend. 


We're seeing an increase in the number of calls that relate to critical issues where the caller is at imminent risk of harm.  One such call involved a teenage boy,  Jack, who was experiencing extreme bullying at school, leading him to self-harm and have suicidal thoughts.  He didn’t feel like his parents or teachers were taking his problem seriously and he believed they were forcing him to go to school.

Our counsellor listened to him and they worked together to make a plan to help him feel safe. They agreed to contact his health worker and worked on some ways to help him talk to his parents and teachers. 


Ben* called us to talk about depression and his feelings because one of his best friend’s had passed away. Our counsellor talked with him about his feelings of loss, his fears that it would happen to his other friends, and ways of communicating with his family, especially his mum. She encouraged Ben to talk about the supportive aspects of his life and family and explored positive thoughts that could replace his thoughts of fear and negativity.  Ben also wanted to talk to 0800 What's Up about ways to remember his friend, as he was scared he would forget him.

At the end of the call, Ben said he felt much better after talking it through with someone as it was the first time he’d had the courage to talk about his feelings.

* names changed to protect privacy