Waiting Room

We'll be with you as soon as possible. We know waiting can be difficult. But you're very important to us.

You don't have to stay in the waiting room. Have a look around our site while you wait.

What now? 

Watch out for the yellow bar at the top of the screen. When a counsellor is available, the bar will turn green.  You'll then get a message to say that the chat can start. 

From this point, the counsellor can only wait up until 2 minutes for you to start the chat. 

Top tips for using 1-2-1 counsellor chat

  1. Be patient
    It can often take a bit of time for a counsellor to become available. Use the time to think about what you’d like to say or have a look at our info and advice.
  2. Focus on the chat
    Once you get through to a counsellor, try and focus on the chat. It’s quicker and easier to get the help you need if you aren’t distracted.
  3. Be honest
    Don’t be afraid to say how you really feel. Talk about what help you really need. Talking to our counsellors is confidential, unless you or someone else's life is in danger. Find out more about our confidentiality promise.
  4. Let the counsellor know if you need to leave the chat
    If you need to leave the chat for a moment and then come back, tell the counsellor. For example, if you need to go to the toilet or answer the door - let them know and they'll wait for you. 
  5. Remember it takes longer to type than to talk
    Don't worry if you can't cover everything that's on your mind in a single chat. Counsellors want to give you the best possible help so may sometimes need a few minutes to reply as well. If you feel like you can't stay on the chat for very long, let the counsellor know at the beginning.
  6. Be understanding
    Things aren’t always clear online. If the counsellor says something which you don't understand, ask them to explain. If you ever feel a chat wasn't as useful as a previous one you've had, give it another chance. The next one could give you loads of help.
  7. Ask the counsellor to read your notes if it helps
    If you'd like to chat about something you've spoken to us about before, you can ask the counsellor to read the notes from your last 1-2-1 session. For confidentiality reasons (in case someone is using your account) they won’t be able to repeat everything to you, but they're happy to read them if you think it will help.
  8. Give yourself time for things to change
    Sometimes you may have to talk to a counsellor more than once to get the support you need. Counsellors can’t fix your problems or tell you what to do but they can support and help you work out the next step.
  9. Avoid using 1-2-1 counsellor chat between midnight and 7.30am
    Childline is a 24 hour service but we have fewer counsellors available to chat during the night. This means that sometimes counsellors can only talk to young people who are in danger right away. It’s usually better to contact Childline during the day so a counsellor can spend more time with you. If you feel it's urgent, please call us on 0800 1111
  10. Try not to exit a chat early
    If you press ‘Hide Page’ on the right hand side of you screen at any point in your chat it will cut you off from the counsellor and take you to ‘Google’. This is a quick way to hide what you're doing if someone interrupts you. It does cut you off though, so you will have to request another chat. If you do this accidentally, tell this to the counsellor if you start a new chat. 

Need to talk urgently?

Click 'Exit chat' and call 0800 1111

How long does a chat last? 

Chatting to a counsellor usually lasts about 40 minutes. Lots of young people believe this is enough time to talk about things properly. It also means other people can talk to a counsellor. But remember, chats can also be longer or shorter.

Art box 

Use our Art box while you wait for a counsellor. It can help you work out what you want to say. You can also use Art box during your 1-2-1 chat - to help explain to the counsellor how you feel. Find out how Art box works.