At School

Talking About Your Mental Health

When you're feeling confused or ashamed, it can be hard to tell someone about what it is that you're experiencing. Check out the tips below for ways to start a conversation about your mental health with a parent, friend or teacher.

  • Try writing down how you feel on a piece of paper or in a journal before you talk to your family member or friend.
  • Send a text message that says, 'I have some important things I need to talk to you about. When can we talk?'
  • Look for information on some of the things other individuals your age are experiencing to try to explain what it is that you're going through.

If you've experienced one or more of the following signs for more than a week, it's time to talk to someone about your mental health:

  • You feel sad, hopeless or like your life doesn't matter
  • You feel worried most of the time
  • You're having trouble focusing on school work
  • You hear sounds that nobody else does
  • You don't enjoy doing the things that you used to like
  • You don't feel like hanging out with your friends
  • You feel restless or easily irritated
  • You're having trouble sleeping or sleeping a lot more than you usually do
  • You can't seem to focus or remember details
  • You don't feel like eating or you're overeating

Learn about the early warning signs and risk factors for mental health issues that commonly affect young individuals, and get the support you need to support your child, a friend, or yourself.

Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviours (BFRB)

BRFB describes repeated actions that are directed toward your physical appearance, including biting your nails, picking at your skin or sucking on your hair. Sometimes, these behaviours are harmless, but in other cases, these behaviours can cause physical harm (such as skin infections or scars from skin picking) or affect you socially.


Some young individuals will hurt themselves as a way to relieve stress or to take control of their bodies when it feels like they can't control other aspects of their lives. What most individuals who cut, burn or hit themselves have in common is that they feel ashamed about it, aren't doing it to seek attention, and will try to hide these behaviours from others.

Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD)

This is a psychiatric disorder related to obsessive compulsive disorder, or OCD. Individuals who experience BDD focus on a part of their appearance that may be real or imagined, and often develop some type of body-focused repetitive behaviour as a response. Young individuals with BDD feel ashamed about their appearance and can have difficulty focusing on their schoolwork and other tasks because they are preoccupied with their appearance.

Eating Disorders

Eating disorders affect females and males and can include anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating. These are serious diseases that can affect all aspects of a person's life, from their ability to function in school or work to the relationships they have with family and friends. They can also have serious health consequences if left untreated.