How global news can worry and upset young people

A worried young person (posed by model). Picture by PA
A worried young person (posed by model). Picture by PA

Lots of us get frustrated and upset by things going on in the world around us, whether it’s what’s happening down the end of our street, or on the other side of the globe.

But for many young people they can have the same worries about global events, but with the added frustration that they feel they aren’t being listened to, and that they can’t have an impact on the world around them.

We have young people contacting us about anything and everything to do with the world around them, from fears about climate change and war to seeking information and reassurance on topics like Brexit and terrorism.

One young person told us: “I get so scared so easily – I’m scared because of the news, and I find myself getting nervous and paranoid.

“I worry a lot about terrorism, and then I hate it when people blame terrorism on someone’s religion because you can’t blame a whole religion for the actions of just a few people.

“I’m nervous about writing the way I feel online, because I don’t want people taking it the wrong way or finding out who I am and causing trouble for me.

“My mum says I should be able to talk about what I want, especially if it’s bothering me.”

Whatever the specific issues young people are worried about our advice is always to share how they feel, to find out more about what’s happening, to find ways to feel positive and to turn bad into good.

What I mean by turning bad into good is that young people can use the things they worry about to make a positive impact on the world.

For example, if someone is worried about bullying they can take steps to ensure victims of bullying have a friend to turn to.

If young people are worried about climate change they can take steps to reduce their carbon footprint, or write to their MP about wider work that can be done to help.

When children and young people are worried, it is often the lack of control associated with that worry that makes the issue seem much worse.

We should all help young people realise they can have an impact on the world.

For free confidential advice and support about any worries, children and young people can contact Childline on 0800 1111 or www.childline.org.uk

l The NSPCC is the leading children’s charity fighting to end child abuse in the UK, using voluntary donations which make up around 90 per cent of its funding.