It was the first day of the school holidays and Eva already wanted to go back.
13-year-old Eva hates school holidays. Everyone is always so excited for them. Talking about where they are going, who they will be seeing.
Eva knew she’d be going nowhere. She’d be stuck in her house, no friends, no one to talk to. Just Mum, and Eva doesn’t feel like she can talk to her.
At the beginning of the holidays, Eva slept as much as she could, trying to fill her days. She distracted herself with YouTube videos, but sometimes they just made her feel worse. It made her want to hurt herself.
Eva used to do that a lot, harm herself when she felt sad, or overwhelmed and like life was just too much. She stopped because of her school counsellor. Talking to her really helped. If she could just talk to her now, it would help. But she can’t.
Eva really needed to talk to someone. She remembered her counsellor at school told her about 0800 What’s Up, a helpline she can contact to talk about stuff. She looked up the website and saw that she could chat with someone online. Eva started a chat but she wasn't sure what to expect. Someone answered her, ‘what do you want to talk about?’
Eva ends the chat feeling positive.
“They chat about ways to keep herself safe and new ways to keep her busy. Eva mentions that she enjoys art, and her counsellor encourages her to draw her feelings.”
0800 What’s Up is free, nationally-available counselling helpline and webchat service for children and teenagers. It is only thanks to kind people like you that it is available 365 days a year.
Eva chats about how she misses school, particularly her counsellor. They chat about ways to keep herself safe and new ways to keep her busy. Eva mentions that she enjoys art, and her counsellor encourages her to draw her feelings.
At the end of the call, the counsellor explains to Eva that she can come back as many times as she likes and can ask to speak to the same person. Eva is so relieved, she thinks she’ll definitely come back, especially if she doesn’t have to start from the beginning every time.
Eva ends the chat feeling positive and that the holidays may not be so bad after all.*To ensure the privacy and safety of everyone concerned, names in this story have been changed and models have been used for all photography.