Talking helps: it’s hard to say

20 minutes

Create a safe and positive learning environment by agreeing ground rules for the session.

Download the session: Talking Helps: It’s Hard to Say

In this session we will learn:

  • it can be difficult to tell someone your problems
  • who you can go to for support
  • how talking can help.

We recommend you use this session in conjunction with ‘My support network’ session.




Digital resources


This session can be a starter for ‘Finding a way forward’ or ‘Barriers to seeking help’.

Remind the class that if anything they see makes them feel uncomfortable they have a right to a break – and that there are people available to talk if they need to. If they are concerned about a friend, they should offer their support and encourage them to seek help.

Show the ‘Finding it hard to talk’ film as an introduction to the session.


Activity: Talking about problems

  • Show the slide of an example scenario followed by questions.
  • Students work in pairs. Hand out one scenario card each. Ask students to think about the person in the scenario.
  • What would be the hardest thing about talking about this problem?
  • What would help them to talk about it?
  • How would talking about it make them feel?
  • Discuss how different people feel about their problems and who or what can support them. Refer to the support network session or handout.

Key message Talking can help to sort out how you feel and make problems feel more manageable. You can get support when dealing with your problem. Things almost always feel worse when you keep them to yourself. Remind the class of their support network and who they can go to if they need support or help. There is always someone they can talk to about a problem no matter how difficult it may feel.

Watch the ‘Feeling free to talk’ film and ask students to think, pair share:

  1. How might someone feel when they think they can’t talk about something?
  2. What sort of thing could happen that might lead you to feel this way? (like you are shouting in the wind).
  3. What do you think about the messages that the students are holding up. Do they agree with them?
  4. What do you think is the hardest step for a young person who is struggling with their feelings?
  5. If your friend was struggling and feeling like they didn’t know what to do what would you say to them? What could the first step be? Record these and display them.
  6. Feedback key points from the discussion.


Listen to ‘My story – Grace’. Ask students in pairs to discuss;

  • What does this story make you think about?
  • Why would someone want to tell their story?
  • Why was it difficult for this person to talk about how they were feeling do you think?
  • What helped Grace feel better?
  • What questions would you like to ask this person?


Feedback thoughts and discuss (this is a true story told by the person of their experiences of finding it hard to talk and finding a way through a difficult time).


Optional extra

You can read about the reasons that people call Samaritans and how they found talking helped them here.


Links and Learning Journeys

This session links to: Talking about depression | Finding a way forward | Positive thinking | Self-harm myths and facts | Barriers to seeking help

It is also part of 3 suggested learning journeys:

Learning journey: stress: What is emotional health | My support network | Let it out | Exam stress (short) | Talking helps: its hard to say (short) | Coping with changes

Learning journey: building resilience: Ups and downs of the day | Expressing feelings | Managing stress: making choices | Building resilience | Talking helps | Being positive

Learning journey: my emotional health: Ups and downs of the day | Talking about depression | Expressing feelings (short) | Talking helps: it’s hard to say (short) | Finding a way forward | Positive thinking | Who are Samaritans?

Make sure young people know what support is available and how to access this support.