Zig's story about family troubles

This animation was produced in partnership with Studio Gilay . Article written by Jacob Hunter, a proud Gumbaynggirr man living on Dharug land, passionate about all things media, Esports and mental health advocacy.

When there’s family trouble at home, it’s easy to feel stuck in the crossfire. It’s also normal to feel worried, stressed, sad or even angry. But as we learn from Zig, having someone to yarn to, a place to go or an activity to do can make a big difference in how you’re able to handle things.

Download the transcript.

Nan asks me questions about how I'm doing and feeling.

Having someone to chat things through with, like a grandparent or someone else you trust – whether it’s an Auntie or Uncle, an Elder, or anyone else from your mob – can be really helpful. Sometimes gaining a bit of perspective, or even just being able to vent, can make you feel a whole lot more secure.

To help him deal with what’s going on at home, Zig also likes to hang out with mates and kick a footy around. He finds it’s a great way to clear the mind, get active and do something fun with friends.

Things you can try when dealing with family troubles

It’s never easy to deal with family troubles at home. And while there are lots of things you can’t control in this kind of situation, there are a few things you can do to help you cope and feel a bit better. Here are some useful strategies:

  • Have a yarn with someone. Like Zig does, chatting with someone you trust, and who cares about you and your wellbeing, is a great way to take some of the load off your shoulders.

  • Connect with community. Making connections with people who get you and who understand your culture can be helpful in grounding yourself, especially during hard times. Looking for pointers? Check out our article on ways to connect with community if you’re a First Nations young person.

  • Hang out with mates. Whether it’s playing sports, bouldering, gaming, talking through your worries, or just kicking back at your regular hangout spot, spending time with good friends is a great way to find some relief and feel supported.

  • Have somewhere to go. If you have a trusted neighbour, relative or friend living nearby, you could ask if you could drop by whenever things get too intense at home. You could also check out suitable places in your local community, such as a public library, park or youth centre.

  • Do something for you. When things are tough at home, looking after yourself is extra important. Try to set aside time for the things you enjoy and that make you feel better. It could be going for a walk or a run, listening to tunes, journalling, practising mindfulness – whatever works for you.

What can I do now?

  • Get Gumbaynggir woman Tilly Langford's tips on how to cope with the highs and lows of family life.

  • If you feel like you need some extra support, check out this list of support services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

  • If things are really intense at home and you don’t feel safe, read our article on what to do when your home is no longer safe.