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What should I avoid doing?

Making contact with anyone your friend is worried about

Although it’s tempting to do this when you want to help, it could end up putting you at risk as well. It’s much safer if this is dealt with by a professional, like the police or a social worker. 

Keeping a secret for your friend

Sometimes friends ask us to keep a secret because they’re scared or embarrassed about what’s going on. But if you believe that your friend isn’t safe and needs help, it’s always okay to speak to an adult about your worries, even if you’ve already promised not to. 

The most important thing is to make sure your friend is safe and gets the right help. 

Arguing with your friend, or confronting them

Even though you may be frustrated by what they are doing, this could end up pushing them further away. 

Try to remember that your friend is going through something very difficult and may not be acting like they normally do. They might not realise the effect they are having on you and others around them. 

Bottling up your feelings

When a friend is going through something difficult it can be easy to think that their feelings are more important than our own. 

But your feelings are just as important, and it’s okay to ask for help.