Ask Sam letter


To Sam

Taking up Childline's time

Am I wasting childline's time by calling or chatting when others may have a more serious problem?

Ask Sam


Hi there,

No problem is any more or less important than any other. Everyone is equal when you talk to Childline and talking about something that matters to you is time well spent. Sometimes people think Childline is just for abuse or suicidal feelings - but we talk about anything that's on your mind. There's nothing too big or too small.

When something is on your mind it can be hard to think of anything else. Some problems might not be threatening your life or hurting you but they're still problems. Anything that is affecting your day to day life is important to talk about.

Remember that some problems, even if you think they are small, can grow and become harder to deal with if you don't talk about them. Not talking about feelings can make those feelings come out in unexpected ways if they're bottled up.

If you're thinking about whether you should get help from Childline, I'd encourage you to do so. Getting help from us doesn't have to mean talking to a counsellor - there are different ways we might be able to support you. We have advice and information that you can use to understand your issue better, tools that help you express yourself such as our art box and mood journal, message boards where you can get support from other young people.

Of course you can also get help from my page. I don't answer many letters each week but often just writing it down and sending it can be helpful because you know that I'll read it even if I don't respond. There will usually be a letter similar to yours that I've answered before, so you can also get some help from reading my past letters.

If you do want to talk to a counsellor, they're there for you - either online or on the phone.

Thanks for sending me this letter, take care.


Need help straight away?

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

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