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Asker

To Sam

Am I being a nuisance?

Hi Sam,

Recently I've been calling Childline quite a lot. Sometimes I'm not really sure why, it's just because I need to talk about something to distract myself. I've been calling about once or twice a day for the past few weeks and I feel like I'm wasting your time. There must be so many other people out there who need to talk and I am taking up the counsellors,

I know you say that you're here whenever we need you, but I just feel so frustrated that I can't get through my day without speaking to someone, and it makes me feel kind of pathetic. I'm also getting really paranoid that I'll get cut off or that Childline will get annoyed with me or something :S

I'm sorry if it sounds silly its just I get anxious too often and it plays on my mind.

Would I ever be cut off from Childline? Is it okay to be calling so much, do you think I should call less?

Thanks for the help.

Ask Sam

Sam

Hi there,

Young people can contact Childline up to the age of 19 and can talk about anything. Calls are free and there is no “right” number of calls a day or length of call. We're all individual and our needs change over time. If the calls are useful to you then that’s what matters most.

It’s always okay to talk to Childline, but there is a limit to how many times you can call during any 24 hour period. Calling a few times per day is absolutely fine if that’s what you need. Some callers may try and flood the service, which makes it harder for others to get through. To stop this happening there's a limit to how often someone can call us in any 24 hour period.

After this limit is reached you'll get a voice message saying that you won’t be able to get through for another 24 hours, but you can still get support through 1-2-1 chat, email and the advice and information pages. It’s difficult to accidentally reach this limit and will probably never affect you if you’re calling Childline a few times per day.

Feeling anxious can make you question things a lot and worry about other people’s reactions. Learning to cope with stress and finding new distractions can help you to manage your anxiety better. Building your self-esteem and confidence will help too.

Let the counsellor know that you call often so that you can look at other distractions that will help you between calls. The aim is to have lots of different strategies that work for you so that you don’t feel dependent on one thing when you're having a tough time.

Counsellors will let you know when you're calling a lot and it doesn't seem to be helping you feel better. This is so that they can help you to find another way forward and that may sometimes mean involving other services to give more direct help. Childline could also speak to other services with your permission to work together to give you the best possible help.

Remember that your emotional health is important and that you can always contact a Childline counsellor.

Thank you for your letter, take care.

Sam

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