Ask Sam letter


To Sam

My girlfriend is going to end her life

Hello My girlfriend told me that she’s going to end her life in two months. I can’t even bear the thought of it. I’ve been telling her how she shouldn’t, how I and everyone else needs her and she will feel better, but she isn’t listening. She’s apparently tried two times before this, but she says that this time it’s for real. I’m terrified. If I tell someone she’ll never wan to talk to me again. But if I don’t, she’ll be gone for ever. I don’t want to break her trust either. What should I do? I don’t think I’ll survive if she leaves. Or anyone close her. I can’t let her do that, never, but how can I stop her? Thank you ​ ​ ​

Ask Sam


Hi there

It’s important to remember you are never responsible for someone else’s life or thoughts.

Supporting someone else can be difficult, so you need to make sure you have support for yourself too. If someone tells you they are having suicidal thoughts try to talk to them about different support available to see what they’d like to do. If at any time you think they are going to act on their feelings, then you should talk to a trusted adult or call 999, so they can get urgent help.

Sometimes when people feel suicidal or depressed, they may not believe things can get better or that there are people who can help. Also, they may not feel ready to talk about their feelings yet or accept any help. That's okay and you can try and help just by listening to them to get a better understanding.

There are various things you could suggest to your girlfriend such as who else they can talk to. Ask them who they feel most comfortable with, that might be a teacher, youth worker, doctor or another adult they trust. It could be Childline.  You could offer to help them talk to someone. Some people also find it easier to write things down.

Remember that being their partner is different to being their therapist - you can't do everything and sometimes people need professional help. If your girlfriend already has support for their mental health, encourage them to contact them.

If they refuse and still appear suicidal then you may need to get help for them. That can be a difficult position to be in when, like as with your girlfriend, that’s not what they want.

First, explain to them how important they are and how you don’t want to break their trust but may have to if it means keeping them safe. That way they’re aware and have a chance to decide a way of getting help they’re more comfortable with and have control of.

If you go to the same school or college, you could tell a member of staff anonymously. You can explain the situation and they should have ways of dealing with it sensitively.

You may have a situation where you aren’t close by or this was an online relationship where you wouldn’t know who to talk to for them. In any case, if you’re concerned for their safety the right thing to do is to always call 999 and tell them what you know.

In the meantime, be sure to get support for yourself and look after your own mental health too. This is a difficult time for you as well so it's okay to talk to a Childline counsellor. You can also talk to other young people on the Childline message boards.

Take care


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