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To Sam

Calling Childline

For a lot of people, calling is a very difficult task but the main part of it is not knowing how to start it off. Like if you call in and what are you meant to say?

I would like to talk to somebody? Or I need advice?

For me, that's what puts me off calling because I don't know how to word it and I know a lot of people feel like that too, so I was just seeing if there are any start-offs I could use because I, personally, really need to talk to somebody.

Thanks Sam.

Ask Sam


Hi there,

Calling Childline can be quite scary for some people. There is no right or wrong thing to say and it's okay if you aren't sure what to do. The counsellor will make things easier for you, but there are some things you can do yourself to help start things off.

First of all it's important to know that it's okay to say nothing. Lots of young people call Childline and don't say anything at all. They do this because they want to see what it's like to call and what our counsellors say. We don't have a problem with this at all - if it helps you to call and say nothing before hanging up a few times, that's fine.

Knowing what happens when you call can make the experience a little easier. First of all when you dial 0800 11 11 you will be answered by someone on the switchboard. This person will say hello and make sure we can hear you okay, as well as making sure you are calling to talk to someone. If you stay silent here then you may be played a recorded message that tells you about how Childline works. If you say you'd like to speak to a counsellor then you'll be put through to the queue.

Once the next counsellor is available, you will automatically be connected with them and they will greet you and say hello. If you're not sure what to say at this point then one thing you can do is tell them how nervous you are about calling or that you don't know what to say - they will help you.

Another thing that can be good to begin with is to talk about how you feel. You can then start to talk about what's led to you feeling that way.

Whatever happens the counsellors are there to help you and won't judge or pressure you to say things you don't want to say. There is nothing too big or too small to talk about - everything you say is important to us.

I hope that helps but if you wanted to try calling and just seeing what it's like, simply dial 08001111 from any phone. It's free and doesn't show up on phone bills.

Also, some people find our 1-2-1 chat online with a counsellor a really good option if you're not quite ready to talk over the phone. Just remember that however you choose to get in touch, we're here to support you.

Take care


Need help straight away?

You can talk privately to a counsellor online or call 0800 1111 for free.

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