Ask Sam letter


To Sam

help please

i want to see the doctors without parents knowin. im 13.

i may have a mental disorder. where do i go. like what do i ask for. who do i go to. london. nhs?? do i go to the main desk and ask?

Ask Sam


Hi there

I’m pleased you’ve written to me. You’ve asked a really good question about your age and whether you can get help without your parents knowing.

You’ve told me you are 13, so it would be up to your doctor to decide if they could help you without telling your parents. There are guidelines for doctors and other professionals that explain what they should do if someone under 16 wants support without parental consent (that means without parents knowing). Your doctor would want to be sure that you’re mature enough to fully understand any advice or treatment that they suggest. They would probably encourage you to speak to your parents or another trusted adult about your mental health. They might also ask you to explain your reasons for not wanting your parents to be involved. This might feel off-putting but it would be part of the assessment the doctor has to make. You can find out more information at the Law Stuff website.

You asked about where to go to for help. One of the easiest ways to get support with your mental health is to make an appointment with your family doctor (GP). If you’re not sure who your family doctor is, you might need to ask your parents. You should be able to arrange to see the doctor by phoning the receptionist and asking them to make you an appointment. If you talk to your doctor about your concerns then they will decide if they can help you themselves or if you need to be referred to other support services, such as CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services). There’s more information about CAMHS at the Young Minds website.

If you’re worried about what your doctor might say to your parents, you could start your appointment by asking them about confidentiality without telling them exactly what’s worrying you. They should be okay about explaining their guidelines to you and I hope they would respect you for checking this out first. If you don’t feel confident going to your doctor, then perhaps you could try talking to your school nurse. Some areas have a counselling service that you can go along to without having to speak to a doctor or other professional first. Get connected are like a Yellow Pages for young people, and they could tell you about counselling services near to you.

You can always talk to one of the counsellors at ChildLine for more support. They can help you think through what you might want to say to your doctor or work out what other options you might have. You can call them on 0800 1111, log in for a 1-2-1 chat or send an email.

Take care


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