Will a child/teen be able to communicate with someone right away on Social Media?

Every child/ teen below 18 years can reach out through our social media channels to get help 24 hours of the day or night. Our counsellors will respond as soon as one is available to do so.

How can parents spot signs of depression in children/teens?

Problems at school: Depression can cause low energy and concentration difficulties. At school, this may lead to poor attendance, a drop in grades, or frustration with schoolwork in a formerly good student.

Running away: Many depressed teens run away from home or talk about running away. Such attempts are usually a cry for help.

Drug and alcohol abuse: Teens may use alcohol or drugs in an attempt to self-medicate their depression. Unfortunately, substance abuse only makes things worse.

Low self-esteem: Depression can trigger and intensify feelings of ugliness, shame, failure, and unworthiness.

Smartphone addiction: Teens may go online to escape their problems, but excessive smartphone and Internet use only increases their isolation, making them more depressed.

Reckless behaviour: Depressed teens may engage in dangerous or high-risk behaviours, such as reckless driving, binge drinking, and unsafe sex.

Violence: Some depressed teens – for instance those who are the victims of bullying – can become aggressive and violent.

How do I know that the information I share is confidential?
Every SafeSpot counsellor and team member is bound to respect the privacy of persons who reach out for help, so they cannot disclose their identities or information to anyone. SafeSpot also has its own Confidentiality Policy that enforces this principle.
How to tell if a child needs help to manage stress?

Nightmares: Sleep-related fear is a common response to stressful or traumatic experiences. Telling your child stories about other kids with feelings just like theirs can help them feel better. It lets them know that you understand their feelings.

Trouble concentrating and completing schoolwork: Academic and social pressures, especially the need to fit in, are major causes of stress for kids. While extracurricular activities can be a useful outlet, over-scheduling adds to anxiety. Help your child balance his/her priorities appropriately.

Increased aggression: Some children, when under stress, react with physical aggression (biting, kicking, or hitting) or verbal aggression (screaming or name calling). They also tend to have difficulty completing tasks that require patience. If talking with your child doesn’t help (try books to help spark a meaningful conversation), consult an expert such as a doctor or therapist.

Bedwetting: Children that are feeling insecure or have a lot on their minds may miss toileting cues. Reassure your child that you are not angry when (s)he has an accident. See a doctor to rule out a medical condition that could cause bedwetting.

Hyperactive behaviour: When children can’t handle the stress that they feel, they release negative energy. Having temper tantrums, running away, or constantly being disobedient are ways to alert adults that there is a problem. Help your child burn off energy in a positive, calming way: deep breathing exercises, listening to soothing music, stretching, journaling, or yoga.

Withdrawing from family and friends: Moving, divorce, a new sibling, or bullying at school can cause a child to feel left out or scared. Offer plenty of positive attention and maintain familiar routines to provide comfort. Speak to your child’s teacher if you suspect trouble with friends at school.

Eating or sleeping disorders: When a child is under pressure, restlessness and worry interrupts sleeping habits. A sudden change in eating habits, whether eating less or more, is another sign of stress. Getting to the root of his anxiety (often with help from a child psychologist or counselor) can alleviate these behaviours.

Overreactions to minor problems: Sometimes, the pressure to please parents causes children to be perfectionists and worry constantly. Build confidence so that (s)he can meet challenges and solve problems on his/her own.

Do I need phone credit to call SafeSpot?
No you don’t! SafeSpot is a free and confidential 24/7 helpline, whether you have a Digicel or Flow number.