Ask Sam letter

Asker

To Sam

Friends that self harm

I know 3 people that self harm all of which are male. People don't tend to think males self harm and this has left them in a bad position.

One friend cut really deep last night when he and his other friends had agreed to stay strong together. But now one broke it they are both into bad habits again. They have both planned a suicide date 31st October this year and I am scared that they will actually kill themselves.

They both already see a therapist at school but she doesn't know everything. What should I do?

Thank you

Ask Sam

Sam

Hi there,

Thank you so much for writing to me. I’m really pleased that you did, and you’ve done really well to talk about the difficult and urgent issues that you have going on for you right now. I can hear how worried you are feeling. Hopefully this letter can help you work out not only what to do next but also how you can get support for yourself, because this sounds like too much for you to have to be coping with.

Lots of people experience suicidal feelings for different reasons, and they can happen at different times. It is always important to take what is said seriously by accepting and listening and reassuring them that it is okay to get help and support. Everybody deserves to be safe. Whatever is happening in a person’s life can be supported so that they can feel the happiness they deserve to feel. Suicide is a permanent action in response to temporary problems. It takes away everything somebody has and everything that they could be in the future.

You’ve done really well to recognise that what your friends are saying is really serious. I really want you to know that you would be doing the right thing to tell somebody at school as soon as possible. This could be a favourite teacher who could talk to their school therapist.

You sound like such a caring and supportive friend and you are doing exactly the right thing to talk about what is happening. If you are worried that somebody needs  help more urgently then it is also okay to call 999.

This is a lot for you to be coping with on your own. I want you to know that there is always a ChildLine counsellor who will listen and support you. I would really encourage you to make use of that support so that you have a space to offload the things you have heard and how this is making you feel. You can call on 0800 1111, send an email or log on for a 1-2-1 chat.

Whatever you decide to do, you are not alone. Once again, thank you for coming through and writing to me. I hope this response helps you. It may be that it helps other people who are in a similar situation to you, so very well done for writing in. I think you can feel very proud of yourself for taking this step.

Take care,
Sam

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