Frequently Asked Questions

How will steps to cope help me?

Steps to Cope is designed to support young people living with a family member who are misusing alcohol/drugs or a family member who has a mental health problem. 

The intervention will help you:

– to think about what life is like for you, 
– provide you with information to answer questions you may have,
– look at how you cope and
– what things might help you to feel better about your situation. 
– help explore what supports you have in your life and what additional supports you may like or need to help and stay safe. 

Although we can’t stop your parent from drinking, we can help you to take better care of yourself, which may help you feel better

How do we use your information?

This website is secure and your information is confidential. We will never use your information to identify who you are. Most of what you enter can’t be seen by anyone other than yourself. The only information we keep is your username, gender, where you live, age and your responses to the resilience questionnaire we ask you to complete at the start and end of the self-help programme. This information is only gathered so we can see what types of people are using Steps to Cope and for us to see what difference the intervention is making for people that complete it.

The information from the intervention is shared with the Steps to Cope partners (ASCERT, Barnardos, SEHSCT and AFINet-UK) but it does not identify who you are and you will not be contacted by us.

What if I need help right now?

The Steps to Cope site is used for self-help and information purposes only. If you feel you need support from someone right now you can contact Lifeline on 0808 808 8000 or ChildLine on 0800 11 11 who both operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

If you live outside Northern Ireland you should contact your local children’s helpline.

Can you get my parent to stop drinking or using drugs?

Unfortunately us or indeed you can make your parent stop. They have to make that decision for themselves. We have developed Steps to Cope as something that can help YOU. Using the self-help toolkit can help you cope better with what is going on and help you to take care of yourself.

What does Resilience mean? you keep using it

Resilience is the word we use when we talk about a person’s ability to “bounce back” after they face difficulties or troubles. It is all about how strong the person feels on the inside to deal with things when life throws difficult problems in their way. Everyone has some levels of resilience. We hope that this work will help you become stronger inside, which will help you to continue to tackle things in a more helpful and safe way.

Is there any other support available apart from this website?

Yes, if you think you may need to speak to someone or meet face to face you can call us on 0800 2545 123 or email and we will do our best to help you or link you to another service that can help.

Is Steps to cope only for young people?

Steps to Cope is primarily aimed at young people aged 11-24. There are lots of other organisations who can support people, who are not in this age group. For more information on supports in your local area check out . Remember though that the other person who you think may need the support has to want the support themselves

Can I use this if I don't live in Northern Ireland?

Yes! The self-help toolkit has been created for young people in Northern Ireland but you can use it no matter where you live. Just remember that where we refer to specific support services they are mainly only available in Northern Ireland so you will need to find out what similar supports there are in your own country.

How long will it take?

The website is designed so you can work at your own pace. We have put suggested timings in for answering some of the questions, and have put in lots of opportunity for you to take some time and think about your answers. Your progress in the intervention will automatically be saved when you exit the intervention and you will be given the option to pick up where you left off when you return to the self-help area of the website.

I don't live with my parents any more. Can you still support me?

Of course! The self-help toolkit and or information resources can be useful to you regardless of your circumstances. We realise that just because things may have changed in your life, doesn’t mean that the problem or difficulties have gone away.

My mum/dad doesn't drink any more. Can You still support me?

Of Course! It is great news that things have gotten better, but we realise that you may still have some concerns and questions. Sometimes things might not go back to normal straight away and it can be difficult to know how to feel or what to do with all the confusing emotions you may have. Information on this website and the self-help toolkit can help.

How do I keep my use of Steps to Cope private?

It depends on how you are accessing Steps to Cope. Your use of the website will remain in your search/browser history. If you clear your browsing history this will hide your use of Steps to Cope, but doing this would mean your progress would not be saved if you had begun completing the intervention, so you would have to start it over again.

If however you complete all 5 Steps in 1 sitting this would not be an issue and you could delete your use of Steps to Cope after you had finished.

There are a number of other ways that you can keep your use of Steps to Cope Private:


  1. Use a private tab:

If you use a private tab in your browser such as an incognito tab in Chrome, this will prevent others from seeing you are accessing Steps to Cope. The downside to doing this, however, will be that your information is not stored, and if you try to access the self-help again, your progress would not be saved meaning you would have to begin the intervention from the start.


  1. Ensure your device is locked:

If you are using the self-help on your phone or tablet you can maintain your privacy by putting a passcode on it, so that others cannot access the device.


  1. Set up a new user on your device:

If you are accessing the site on a shared device such as a desktop computer, a laptop, or a tablet, you could set up a “new user” for the device. This would mean that you and only you would have access to the password and browser history etc, preventing others from seeing you had accessed Steps to Cope.