Worries and sorrows are a part of life. Often, young people deal with worries together with friends. Sometimes, however, the worries are so great that a solution cannot be found, and does not need to be found, in a group of friends. For these situations, it is important that every young person has at least one safe adult. A safe adult helps, no matter what.

Usually, a safe adult is one’s own parent or guardian. However, the close circle does not always meet the criteria of a safe adult. In these situations, a safe adult can be another person close to the young person. He can be, for example, a relative, a youth counselor, a teacher or a school nurse.

Young people have been asked what they think a safe adult is like. Young people say that a safe adult does not judge. He knows how to discuss constructively even about controversial topics. He listens, takes the young person’s opinions into account and is genuinely interested in the young person’s affairs. The adult tries to understand the young person and does not underestimate the things the young person brings up.

A safe adult knows where the young person moves. He is also available himself. An adult sets boundaries and sticks to the boundaries he sets. A safe adult is approachable and has no ulterior motives. He can be trusted and he keeps his promises. The young people have also felt it is important that the adult respects the young person’s privacy. A safe adult also gives positive feedback and strengthens the young person’s self-esteem.

A familiar adult protects against the risks associated with the use of substances

For safe growth, it is essential to have a good conversational connection even on challenging topics. Discussing intoxicants can be challenging and prejudices can be connected to the discussion. The task of a safe adult is to go through thoughts and feelings related to substances. In the company of an adult, you can talk openly and neutrally about experiences related to the use of substances. The goal of a neutral discussion is to emphasize that there is nothing great or inspirational about intoxicants. On the other hand, talking about intoxicants is not stigmatizing or scary.

A familiar adult tells you realistically about the risks and dangers associated with intoxicants and their consequences. You should also discuss with the young person how intoxicants affect psychological, physical and social well-being and how their use can affect loved ones. Young people should be encouraged to tell a safe adult if they find themselves in a situation where they face substance abuse or a related threat or fear. If you don’t have a safe adult, see below who you can turn to. Every young person has the right to a safe adult in their life, with whom they can discuss all the topics that concern their mind.