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To Sam

I don't know when to call childline

I feel like if I call childline right away then that means I'm an attention seeker. What should I do? When should I call?
Ask Sam


Hi there,

ChildLine would never feel you are being an attention seeker. Our counsellors are here to listen no matter how big or small you feel your problem is. If something matters to you, then it also matters to ChildLine. It’s not attention seeking to talk about how you feel.

I understand that a lot of people find it difficult to talk, especially on the phone. It might help to know a bit more about what would happen when you ring.

The first person you hear is usually the switchboard. They are there to make sure you know someone is there. They’ll then be able to direct your call into the counselling queue. The wait time for a counsellor can vary, but it’s usually no more than a couple of minutes, and someone will always answer if you wait.

When it’s your turn the counsellor will answer and they might ask you how you’re feeling or if there is something you want to talk about. What you say next is up to you, but remember that the counsellors are friendly and they are there for you, so just take your time. If you’re nervous it’s okay to tell them so they can try to make you feel more at ease.

You can call ChildLine any time you like. Counsellors are there 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. However, overnight there is a more limited service running and only emergency calls are taken after 1am.

You can call on 0800 1111. This number is free from more or less all phones and won’t show up on most phone bills. You can also send an email from your ChildLine inbox and a counsellor will reply to it, or you can have an online 1-2-1 chat.

I hope that helps you decide whether you want to get in touch.

Take care,

Need help straight away?

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

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