Ask Sam letter


To Sam


Hi I have a problem with people coming to me when they are depressed and suicidal. It's not just my friends but other people sometimes that I hardly know. I want to help them and be nice, I like helping them. But it's starting to make me feel depressed, which I know isn't from my own reasons because I am generally a happy person. I want to help but I'm finding it hard at night, I can't sleep because they are all messaging me needing help and this means I'm not getting a lot of sleep now. Any advice in what I should do?
Ask Sam


Hi there,

This is a really tough situation for you. I can hear that you are a caring and helpful person, but it sounds like what’s happening is having a big effect on your own wellbeing. It’s great that you want to help your friends, but taking care of yourself is also really important.

Young people who feel depressed and suicidal need professional help. A great way to help your friends is to make sure they get the support that they need. The next time somebody asks for help, perhaps you can suggest that they speak to a doctor or another trusted adult. You could offer to go along with them for support.

You can also tell your friends about ChildLine and suggest they speak to one of our counsellors. It might help to share our pages on depression and suicide with your friends.

If your friend won’t talk to a trusted adult and you are worried about their safety, it’s really important that you tell somebody as soon as possible. This is especially true if a friend tells you they are suicidal.

You say that you are having problems sleeping because your friends are sending messages through the night. Switching off your phone when you go to bed would be a good way to make sure you’re not disturbed. If your friends need urgent help then ChildLine is available 24 hours a day. Letting yourself get a good night’s sleep is a great way to take care of yourself. If you’re healthy and happy, it’s easier to be a good friend.

It’s really brave of you to admit that you’re starting to feel depressed. I want you to know that supporting friends with their problems can be tough, and maybe you need support for yourself. Talking about how you’re feeling can really help. Remember, you can talk to ChildLine about anything, no matter how big or small. You can call on 0800 1111, send an email or log on for a 1-2-1 chat.

Take care,

Need help straight away?

You can talk privately to a counsellor online or call 0800 1111 for free.

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