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Contacting ChildLine

If you are worried about anything, it could be something big or something small - don't bottle it up. It can really help if you talk to someone. If there is something on your mind, ChildLine is here for you.

Contacting ChildLine

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Watch this short film about what happens when you call us.
Subtitled version available here.


(boy) I reckon i can chat to anyone about anything. Well, almost anything. My mum says I could talk the hind leg off a donkey, whatever that means. But I had this problem. I couldn't talk about it because I didn't think anyone I knew would understand. It just seemed to keep getting bigger and bigger in my head.

So I thought I might speak to ChildLine. I'd heard you could talk to them about anything. My mate Chris said his cousin had called them about bullying. He reckons talking to them really helped, plus it was completely free. But it's not like I could chat to him for myself, so how was I gonna find out? I mean, who would I be talking to, what would happen and would anyone else get to know about it?

I didn't want the whole world knowing my business, least of all my mum. So I went on the ChildLine site again and found loads of information. Like I saw that you can talk to ChildLine online as well as call them. It works the same way as on the phone, it's just that you're typing instead of talking. Either way, I'd be in charge of what was said and what would happen next. They weren't going to go passing it on, so I could trust them with as much or as little as I wanted to say, whatever I preferred. I could even give them a different name if it made it easier. I thought about chatting online, but I guess I find it easier to talk about stuff, so I decided to phone.

I checked when I could call, and it said anytime, so I just went for it. After I dialled the number, I felt really sick. I was thinking about hanging up, but I'd come this far, so what did I have to lose? Then someone answered. This man said, Hi. You're through to ChildLine. I've got this problem, I said, and I don't think anyone will understand.
Would you like to talk to someone about it? he said. Yeah, I said, but I don't want my mum to find out. He said that was fine. The call would just be between me and the counsellor, unless they thought someone's life was in real danger. That was the only bit that might change things. That seemed fair enough.

So he said he'd put me in a queue to talk to a counsellor.All I had to do was stay on the line for a bit. So I waited, and I was starting to feel, How can I do this? After a while, this women, the counsellor, came on the line. I couldn't get my words out at first. That's not like me. But she said, Don't worry, take your time. So I told her all about it. She was great. She didn't talk too much to start off. She just let me say everything. Then she asked if it had been hard to call. Yeah, I said, but this has helped. I asked her, So what do you reckon I should do? She asked me if I had any ideas, so we started talking again. We figured out that I had some choices and they could all work out in different ways.

I could see there was something I could do to change stuff after all. That was amazing, just doing that. All of a sudden, it felt like I had a plan. It wasn't like I'd made an idiot of myself and I hadn't blabbed to the entire world. The call wouldn't even appear on the phone bill. It felt like I was in charge and that I could really trust them. They just listened and helped me decide what I wanted to do. It felt great.


You can talk to us about anything

Whether you’re feeling stressed, anxious, lonely or down—we’re here for you.

Our counsellors help lots of young people with all sorts of things, like bullying, problems at home and self-harm. Whatever it is, we can help.

ChildLine is a private and confidential service, meaning that what you say stays between you and ChildLine. Visit the confidentiality page for more information

A ChildLine counsellor is someone who:

  • who you can trust
  • who is genuine, open and friendly
  • who won't judge you or put you down
  • who is not easily shocked
  • who will listen to you and knows it takes courage to contact us
  • who is aware of the sorts of problems you might be worried about
  • who will let you take your time
  • who wants you to get in touch

Call free on 0800 1111, speak to a counsellor online or visit the explore section for information and advice on a range of topics.

In what ways can ChildLine support me?

  • Call us

    "I think that it’s really helpful and really nice to know that you can talk to someone who treats you like you’re the only person in the world that matters" 

    Call free on 0800 1111. Calls are confidential and won’t appear on the phone bill, including mobiles. Find out more.  

  • 1-2-1 Chat

    "I love 121 chat. I really want the courage to call the ChildLine number but at the moment I don’t have that. The counsellors on 1-2-1 chat are really kind; they let me take my time. I have a difficult life and sometimes I just get down. They just talk to me like a friend, how my day has been and what’s been happening. It helps me get through smaller things that would normally build up inside me."

    Chat to a ChildLine counsellor online in a 1-2-1 session any time you want.
    Find out more about 1-2-1 chat.

  • ChildLine Email

    "When I am upset or tearful I can come and
    share my feelings through email."

    You can send ChildLine an email about anything, and we'll reply to your personal inbox. Find out more about ChildLine email.

  • Ask Sam

    "Even if you haven't asked Sam a question someone else has. There are many problems on the website and there is bound to be one similar to yours."

    Ask Sam whatever you want. Write Sam a message or look at what other people have asked. Find out more about Ask Sam.

  • Message board

    "Everyone helps each other out and is going through the same things as me –it’s a really welcoming place.I don’t feel like I’m the only one anymore."

    Have you got something to say, or want to ask a question?
    Visit the message board and get support from the ChildLine community.

  • Explore 

    "It was informative but not scary like some resources – it was useful and informal so kids like me can understand it easily"

    Sometimes you can sort out a problem on your own. In the Explore section you'll find info on a whole range of issues.

  • Play

    "I go on it and it relieves my stress”

    Take your mind off things for a bit, by visiting the Play section. Watch videos or play games whilst you browse the site or when you’re waiting for a counsellor on 1-2-1 chat.

  • Express yourself

    "I like wall of expression because I can trust it all to be confidential and it lets me express my feelings without feeling stupid about my self."

    You can write down what is upsetting or worrying you on the Wall of Expression, then piece by piece knock the wall down and watch it crumble away. You can also use the Creative tool to write poems, create pictures and express yourself. Take a look at the Creative gallery to see what others have done.

  • Your Locker

    "I really like the locker because you can customise it and make it the way you want it to be!"

    Your Locker is your own private space. It’s where your ChildLine email is kept. It also allows you to use 1-2-1 chat, track your mood and save any pictures you’ve created in the play section.
                                    Find out more about the Locker.

Contacting ChildLine

Would you feel comfortable contacting ChildLine about something that is worrying you?

Contacting ChildLine