Ask Sam letter


To Sam

my parents ignore my Self-harm issues

my name is J*, im 15 and i have been self harming for three years. my parents found out about it last summer but since my mum took me to my GP and reffered me to counselling she told me it was for messed up people and that i wasn't going they have ignored it and done nothing to help,

i really need to know why they chose to ignore it.

Ask Sam



Thank you for sending me the letter to tell me a bit about what you have been going through over the last three years. It’s frustrating to hear that your parents are not supporting you to access the support you deserve.

Counselling and therapy can really help some people to understand their thoughts and feelings better. It’s OK to get support when things are hard. Just because you ask for support doesn’t mean that you are ‘messed up’, in fact it’s the opposite. Taking the steps to access help and understand yourself better can show that you have a lot of strength and self-awareness.

I can really see that you want to understand why your parents seem to have chosen to ignore your self-harming and what you’re going through. Unfortunately the only way to know for sure what influenced their decision is to ask them. I understand this may be difficult. Something that may help is to write them a letter saying how you’re feeling and ask them directly why they chose to ignore it; you could also perhaps talk to another trusted adult like a teacher or family friend and see if they could support you in talking to them. You have the right to get the support you need to stay physically and emotionally well, and your parents should be helping you with that.

It sounds like you would have liked the chance to try some counselling out. You haven’t told me much about what going to this counselling service would involve. Would you be able to get to the appointments on your own? If so, it might be worth talking to your GP by yourself about what your options might be. If your GP feels that you fully understand what’s involved in any treatment, like counselling, then you can agree to it without the consent of your parents. If this particular service doesn’t suit you, it’s worth looking around. Some counselling services for young people will allow you to refer yourself directly with out having to see your GP. Youth Access has lists of counselling services for young people and you could search to see what’s available in your area.

You could always start by chatting to one of the counsellors here at ChildLine by calling 0800 1111 or by logging on for a 1-2-1 chat. They could help you think through your options and decide what you’d like to do next.

Take care,


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