When you hear about problems like violence through friends or social media, you might feel afraid, confused, sad or all of those things.

If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide or self-harm, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255). Crisis Text Line: 741741

You might feel in danger or worry that your own friends or family are at risk. You can look to your parents or other trusted adults for information and guidance. Here are some tips to have a conversation that will help you.

Organize your thoughts.

When you’re nervous, or when emotions are high, it can be easy for a conversation to get off track. You can forget things you wanted to say, or you may say things you didn’t mean to. Before your conversation, try writing down your most important points and what your main goals are. That can help you stay focused.

Choose a good time to talk.

For example, if weekdays are busy and stressful, choose a time during the weekend when things feel calmer. If you live with a lot of people, you may need to have the conversation during a walk so that you can have some privacy. Or you could schedule a specific time to talk. You might say, “I need to talk to you about something important. Can we plan a time with just us?”

Share how you’re feeling.

If you’re open about what you’re feeling, it can help your parent or guardian better understand your experience. You can say things like, “It feels awkward to talk about this because it’s kind of embarrassing,” or “It’s hard for me to tell you this because I’m worried you’ll be disappointed in me.”

Be clear about what kind of help you need.

Are you looking for advice or guidance? Maybe you need help with a difficult situation, or you just need a hug. Whatever it is, try to be clear about what kind of support you need.

Be ready to listen, too.

If you need to talk to your parent or guardian about something that might upset them, they might have a reaction. Give them time to tell you what they’re thinking or feeling without reacting or getting upset. Remember, you’ve probably had a chance to think about the issue a bit. But they’re hearing about it for the first time.

Find a different adult to talk to, if you need to.

You know your parent or guardian best. If you’re afraid of how they might react, or if you don’t feel safe, talk to a different adult first. Choose someone you trust, like a family friend, a teacher or a school counselor.