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To Sam

Don't Know if i should.........

I got an email from childline saying they were concerned about my safety etc. an would like to encourage me to come back on to talk to a counsellor but i don't know if i should!

I wouldn't ring up as i am too scared and wouldn't be able to say anything but i don't know if i should talk on the 1-2-1 thing?

I guess it would be good to talk to someone but i don't want them to contact my parents or school?

Would they tell me if they were going to and can they without me telling them details?
I have been pulled into head of years office before for one thing but the school doesn't know about any of my problems and i'd rather it stay that way.

Ask Sam


Hi there,

First let me say how glad I am that you decided to ask about this. Being told that someone is concerned about you can be a really scary thing but it’s important to remember that you did the right thing to talk about how you’re feeling.

Sometimes when ChildLine sees that you’ve posted something to the message boards that makes them feel like you might be in danger, or if you say something on the 1-2-1 chats or in the private emails that makes them concerned, they will send you an email asking you to talk to them more. This is because they want to make sure that you are as safe as possible and they will want to check whether or not they need to do anything urgent to help keep you safe. It’s important to remember that when ChildLine says that to you, it doesn’t mean that you’ve done anything wrong.

Talking to someone and not knowing what might happen next can be an incredibly frightening thing. ChildLine knows this and has a really clear confidentiality policy, which says that they won’t tell anybody what you’ve said unless you want them to,
or if:

• ChildLine think your life or someone else’s life is in danger.
• You've told ChildLine that someone is hurting you, who might be hurting other young people too -  like a teacher who works with other children.
• You’ve told ChildLine that you have been hurting another young person and they are worried about that person’s safety.

You can read more about ChildLine’s confidentiality promise or even ask a counsellor at ChildLine about it. ChildLine will always try to say when they think they might not be able to keep things confidential.

You said you don’t think you’d be able to call, but that you’re not sure about whether to use the 1-2-1 chats. It’s important to remember that however you contact ChildLine, it’s in your control. You can say as much or as little as you want to. There’s a lot of young people who will contact ChildLine quite a few times and not feel able to say anything. The counsellors there know how difficult it can be to talk about things and even if you feel like you can’t talk at that time, you can contact us again any time you want to.

It might be good to have a think about how each of the ways of contacting ChildLine works. The 1-2-1 chats work a lot like instant messenger, and usually last about 40 minutes. If you like, you can ask a counsellor to have a look at the notes from your previous chats so you don't have to repeat yourself. No matter what you've spoken about before, counsellors are always happy to talk about what's on your
mind that day.

When you call (0800 1111), it’s completely free and won’t show up on the phone bill. You’ll initially get through to somebody on the switchboard who’ll ask you if you’d like to talk to a someone and who’ll put you in a queue for the next counsellor who is free. Sometimes it can be hard saying things out loud, but at the same time it’s good to think about what it might be like to say something that you may never have said before. Remember that even if you can’t yet, that’s OK.

You can also write an email to ChildLine. Sometimes writing an email can seem less scary and really give you time to think about what you’d most like to talk about. Emails to ChildLine get replied to within 7 days, but it’s good to know that most of the time it’s a lot quicker than that and you’ll usually get a reply within 24 hours.

Remember, you can talk to ChildLine about absolutely anything, there’s nothing that’s too big or too small.

Take care,


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