Ask Sam letter


To Sam

confidentiality promise

If someone told a counsellor about suicidal thoughts, would they have to tell someone. Even if there just thoughts or questions. It's not covered on the website I find. could you please answer this. thanks for reading this.

Ask Sam


Hi there,

Confidentiality means keeping things private. This is really important to us at Childline and we know it can be part of what helps young people trust us and feel this is a safe place to talk.

Suicidal thoughts and feelings can be difficult to manage and talking about them can really help. Childline counsellors understand that sometimes these are just thoughts and feelings and that not everyone who has them wants to put their life in danger.

Our confidentiality promise is for all young people in the UK, including those who have other professionals supporting them, like a mental health worker or social worker, and those who live in care.

The only times we might pass on what young people tell us say are:

  • if you ask us to
  • we believe your life or someone else's life is in danger
  • you're being hurt by someone in a position of trust who is able to hurt other children like a teacher, religious leader, sports coach, police officer or doctor
  • you tell us that you're seriously hurting another person
  • you tell us about another child who's being hurt and is not able to tell someone or understand what is happening to them
  • we're told we have to by law, for example for a court case.

This means that when you tell us about suicidal thoughts and feelings, we can usually keep that private. Only when we believe you might put your life in danger would we have to pass on what you say to get help to you.

You can find out more about our confidentiality promise on our website. If you have a question about our confidentiality promise you can always ask a Childline  counsellor.

Take care,


Need help straight away?

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

Ask me a question

You can ask me about anything you want, there's nothing too big or small. I read every single letter but I can only answer a few each week. My replies are published here on my page.

Write me a letter