Waiting room

Between midnight and 7:30am Childline works slightly differently. We have fewer counsellors during the night so it might take longer than usual to speak to a counsellor.

When you get through to a counsellor you can talk about anything. Most 1-2-1 chats at night last up to 15 minutes to make sure everyone has a chance to talk.

We know waiting can be difficult, but we do care about how you're feeling. You don't have to stay in the waiting room - there's lots on the website you can try 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.

Need to talk urgently?

If you are struggling and need support now, exit chat and call 0800 1111. In an emergency you should call 999.

Contacting us at night

When you get through to a counsellor, they might ask what you hope for from your chat. They’ll ask you questions to help you think about what help you’d like and how to keep you safe.

Ways to feel better tonight:

  • Get some sleep: it can be difficult to sleep when you're stressed or upset. But there are things you can try if you're having problems sleeping.
  • Let your feelings out: expressing your feelings can help you feel more able to cope. Why not try our mood journal or the Art box?
  • Distract yourself: taking your mind off things can help you to relax and cope with stress. You could listen to some music, watch some short videos or read.
  • Breathe: take slow breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth.
  • Talk to someone: if things are feeling too much, remember that it's okay to talk to an adult you trust. Even if you have to wake them up.

Tips for talking to Childline

1. 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.

2. Be honest

Don't be afraid to say how you really feel. Talking to our counsellors is confidential, unless you or someone else's life is in danger.

3. Be understanding

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.

4. Ask the counsellor to read your notes if it helps

This can help you to talk about something you've spoken about before. 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.

5. Try not to exit a chat early

If you press 'Hide Page' on the right side of your screen during your chat it will cut you off and take you to Google. This is a quick way to hide what you're doing if someone interrupts you. If you do this accidently, tell the counsellor if you start a new chat.

6. Come back in the morning if you can't stay on now

Childline is here 24 hours a day, so if you don't feel like you can wait for a counsellor now you can come back on any time