Ask Sam letter


To Sam

My friend

My friend is saying she is going through a hard time at home. Im not entirely sure what to do about this situation as theres not much i can do to help. If you could reply back by email,text,etc. would be great. Thanks x

Ask Sam


Hi there

When someone you care about's going through a tough time it can be difficult to know what to do. You might be worried about saying or doing the wrong thing but you can help your friend by letting them know that you want to support them, no matter what's happening.

Sometimes it’s best to let your friend talk about the situation and how they're feeling so that they can decide what they want to do next. You don’t always need to come up with a solution, just being available and listening will often help them feel more able to cope.

It’s important not to push you friend to say or do anything they’re not ready to do. The type of help they need often depends on their situation and you might be able to offer emotional support or a shoulder to cry on if they’re upset or at other times they might need more practical help, like explaining how to do a homework task or by lending them lunch money if they’ve forgotten theirs.

Friendships are all about being there for each other, offering your support and being respectful, even when you have different opinions and ideas about something. It’s important to take care of yourself so you don’t burn out when you’re helping someone else. You can’t be available all the time and they might need to get help from other people too. Remember, if you think that your friend could be in danger, it’s always okay to share your worries with a trusted adult like a teacher or a carer, or you could help to contact a Childline counsellor.

I’m sorry that I’m not able to send a personal reply to the letters I receive but you can always read my past replies for advice about similar problems and you can talk to a Childline counsellor for more support. Counsellors can't text you but you can talk on 1-2-1 chat, by sending an email from your account or by calling us for free.

Thank you 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