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My friend has tried to kill herself

My friend has tried to kill herself twice. She self harms a lot and she won't stop. I'm really worried about her. Her family know about her cutting herself and her trying to kill herself and they are ashamed of her and not supporting her. They also treat her wrongly, they make her pay for the families food, petrol etc.

she is also not eating. She hates her body even though she is very thin. Some days she eats nothing and when she does eat it's something very light. I'm very worried about her.

Ask Sam


Hi there,

Thanks for getting in touch. I can hear how worried you are about your friend and everything she is going through. It can be upsetting to see a friend going through a very difficult time. It's also really hard to know what to do to help - so well done for choosing to get support with this.

It sounds like your friend is feeling very unhappy about herself. It can be difficult to understand why a friend hurts themselves or hates themselves. It sounds like she has been sharing a lot of her problems with you - you’ve done really well to gain her trust like this. Often young people tell me that just having someone to listen to them makes a huge difference when they are having a tough time.

I am concerned that your friend has tried to kill herself twice. If you are ever worried that she is planning to try again, it is really important to get some immediate help from an adult you trust. In an emergency, you could call 999 for help for your friend. Remember that they will need to know where she lives, so it might help to make sure you have her address ready.

It’s not right that your friend’s family are not doing anything to help her, despite knowing about the risks she is facing. You’ve told me that they seem to be ashamed of her, but it is not her fault that she feels the way she does. Emotional health problems can happen to anyone, and no one should be judged for this. You haven’t told me how old your friend is, and that could affect the options that she has for getting help outside her family. Whatever her age, she deserves to have some extra support. I wonder if there are any adults that you could talk to, at school or college. Or maybe she could go and see her doctor. Another option would be for her to talk to ChildLine. She can speak to a ChildLine counsellor by calling 0800 1111 for free or by emailing or having a 1-2-1 chat. Some people choose to be with their friend as they call or chat to us if it helps.

It might also be helpful to look at the advice in Explore about coping with self-harming or suicidal thoughts. There’s also advice about having problems with eating. Epicfriends is another great site for anyone worried about their friend’s mental health. Maybe you and your friend could look at some of these links together.

I wondered what it is like for you coping with being so worried about your friend. It’s important you have someone to talk to too so remember that ChildLine counsellors are there to support you.

Hope this helps.

Take care


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