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HealthInfo Canterbury

Grief information for youth & teens

GriefGrief is normal – everyone feels grief at some time in their life.

Grief is the feeling you have when you lose someone or something that is important to you. It might be the loss of someone you love, the end of an important relationship, your parents' divorce or perhaps being forced to give up something that you love. You might even grieve about leaving school or university.

Everyone grieves differently, and at their own pace – there is no right or wrong way to grieve.

Sometimes when you are grieving you might be tempted to use other things to help you feel better, like alcohol, drugs, food, or sex. These things might help to numb you and take away the pain for a while, but they don't really help you sort out your grief. They can also become problems if you keep using them to manage difficult feelings.

The websites below have heaps of great advice about how you can look after yourself while you are grieving. And if you think your grief is lasting too long, or if it is really upsetting you and you are feeling stuck, it's a good idea to talk to someone who can help.

How can I help someone who is grieving?

If you have a friend who is grieving, it can be hard knowing how to help them. You might feel unsure about what to say, or afraid of saying the wrong thing. This page on Supporting a friend has some good tips on how you can start talking with them.

Phone and helplines

Teen griefIf your grief, or a friend's grief, is worrying you, it's a good idea to talk to someone you trust. But you may find easier to talk to someone anonymously first. If that's the case, try one of these helplines for advice and support:

0800 What's Up? – Grief and loss

Freephone 0800‑942‑8787 to speak a counsellor for free, or chat online (Monday to Friday 1 to 10 pm, Saturday and Sunday 3 to 10 pm).

The website also has information about what grief is, how it affects you, feelings, how to cope, and supporting a friend.

Youthline – Grief and loss

Freephone 0800‑376‑633 (any time) or free TXT: 234 (8 am to midnight) to speak to a counsellor.

Email talk@youthline.co.nz any time. Counsellors aim to respond to emails within 48 hours, so if you need help immediately it is better to phone, txt, or use the online chat.

On the web page you'll also find information about common reactions and getting through grief.

  HealthInfo recommends the following pages

On the next page: Helping your teenager grieve

Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Updated February 2017.

Sources

See also:

Mental health information for youth & teens

Reading in Mind book scheme

Relationships in youth & teens

Page reference: 53204

Review key: HIGYT-53204