Going back to school is stressful. With homework, tests and the ever-constant peer pressure it’s sometimes all a little too much. When locking yourself in your room and blasting your music too loudly isn’t an option it can be helpful to talk to someone. But who?
Parents are not always an option; sometimes they’re the cause of the problem and are too busy to listen and, in some sad instances they may be too bogged down with their own personal issues to have the capacity to take on yours.
Friends can be tricky. Talking about deeper personal stuff isn’t always easy especially with someone whom you’re scared might laugh at you.
So where exactly do you go to? Surely Siri isn’t the only option left?
That’s what Kanner-Jugend Telefon is for. It’s a Luxembourg-based helpline available for all; children, young adults and parents.
To find out more about their services, I was lucky enough to be able to interview a person who is training to become a help-line operator. Due to the organisation’s policies, he has to remain anonymous but I can tell you that he was friendly and open and just the sort of person you would want as a counselor. He explained to me that he has to remain anonymous because if a person calls and they know him it can stop the person from speaking openly, or at all.
He told me when and why he decided to join. “I always listened to people who did voluntary work and felt respect for their commitment. I chose Kanner-Jugend Telefon because I heard on the radio that they needed people and I have always wanted to help people. It’s in my blood.”
So, what exactly is Kanner-Jugend Telefon?
It’s a non-profit organisation made up of several different parts to provide a listening ear and a virtual shoulder to cry on.
Its services are completely anonymous and free, perfect for any teen that doesn’t want their parents to know that they’re struggling. My friend explained exactly what they are trained to do when someone makes a call: “When you phone us, we listen to you. We are not allowed to tell you what to do. We discuss things with you and help you find your words.”
There are two ways to contact Kanner-Jugend Telefon, either by calling or sending an email through their website.
Calls are answered in German, French and Luxembourgish.
On Online Help, you can send an email talking about whatever you’re going through in German, French, Luxembourgish or English and you will receive a personal reply within three days. All of this is completely free.
“The telephone number is very important as it will not show on the bill after you make the call and it is completely free.”
Parents are also welcome to use the email and there is a separate helpline for them as well.
Another part of Kanner-Jugend Telefon; BEE SECURE, helps with online security and cyber-bullying, a growing problem in our new age. All the different factions of Kanner-Jugend are available to read about and contact on their website https://www.kjt.lu.
Making that phone call or sending that email can be scary. What if they judge you or are so shocked they just don’t know what to say? But my friend assured me that none of these things would happen. He explained that it’s you talking, not them, and they’re only there to help you sort out your thoughts. “We talk to you when you have questions and we’ll just listen to you and what you have to say. We also do a sort of flashback with you, you talk with us and then we repeat what you have said with a question, so that you can reflect.”
What if you actually need more help than just talking to someone about how you feel? “When you really need help we give you the best organisations you can go to for free. But most of the time, people just want to be heard.”
In a world that’s always talking sometimes it’s hard to get a word in, but Kanner-Jugend Telefon provides the chance to think out loud and talk about your problems with an unbiased person who won’t judge you.
It might be hard to pluck up the courage to actually talk to someone, to admit you’re having problems, but making that call or sending that email is nothing to be scared of. Sometimes what you really need is for someone to just listen.
How to Get in Touch:
Phone Number for Youth: 16111
Phone Number for Parents: 26 64 05 55
All information is available at https://www.kjt.lu