Ask Sam letter


To Sam

What do I say if I call?

hi sam,

so ive really been considering calling childline over my issues so i can talk one to one and get help, but im scared i wouldnt know what to say and if its hard they might get impatient and i feel like its a waste of time. i tried calling once but i hung up in a panic. what can i do? is here any way i can maybe write to them without having to speak? thanks

Ask Sam


Hi there,

Calling Childline can seem scary but our counsellors are trained to be able to support you and help you talk. If you find it difficult to talk out loud about your problem you can use our 1-2-1 chat or email us to talk to a counsellor online. Childline is always there to support you.

When you call our free 0800 11 11 number you’ll come through to our switchboard. You’ll then speak to someone who’ll make sure you’d  like to talk to a counsellor before putting you into the queue. Once you are in the queue it's usually only a few minutes until someone answers. Although it can be longer if you contact us at night, when we have less counsellors.

Any one of our counsellors can answer your call - you probably won't talk to the same person twice. Our counsellors are trained to reassure you and help you to talk if you’re nervous. You can also check out our video on what it's like to contact Childline. One good way of starting a conversation with Childline is to say how you feel. It's also okay to tell the counsellor you're nervous and not sure what to say. Just take your time and start however you feel is best.

Lots of people hang up a few times before they feel ready to talk - it's okay to do this if it helps you to get used to talking to us. Our counsellors will always be patient and not think you’re wasting their time.

If you do decide it's too difficult to talk on the phone, you can write an email to Childline through your locker or come for a 1-2-1 chat. These are both ways that you can type your message to a counsellor instead of talking out loud.

Remember that there are also other ways to get help – like reading through other Ask Sam letters, advice and information on all kinds of issues and our message boards, where young people support each other.

I hope this has helped - thanks for your letter.

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