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To Sam

How do I get help?

I'm 15 years old and struggle with severe depression, anxiety and self harm. Recently I told my school and my mum because I thought it would mean being able to get help, similar to my friend (who is in the same position) did. The school advised me to see the school counsellor and so I did, but she kept hinting that she thought I only self harmed because my friend does, which is most definitely not true and really hurt me. Since then I stopped seeing her and the school and my mum haven't done anything to help me. I just want to stop seeing the worst sides to everything. How can I let them know I want help that they're not providing?
Ask Sam


Hi there,

Thanks for your letter.

You've told me that you have depression, anxiety and that you self-harm. It could be really hard to cope with those things and you’ve done well to write asking for some help. You showed a lot of courage to talk to your mum and school about what’s been happening. It seems like you and your friend may have made the decision to do that together and it’s great that you can support each other.

You saw the school counsellor but it felt like she was suggesting you self-harmed because your friend did. I can hear how hurtful and unhelpful that was for you. Since you’ve stopped seeing the counsellor, your school and your mum have not tried to find you any other support.

There is some helpful information about anxiety and depression in the Explore section of our website, including some coping tips you might like to try.

A good place to start when looking for support with your mental health would be your doctor as only a medical professional such as a doctor can diagnose something like depression. They can offer you help and support with your anxiety and depression as well as the self-harm. Most doctors could refer you to local support services designed for young people, if they feel that could be helpful to you. Once you reach 16, it's usually possible to have a confidential appointment with your doctor although it’s a good idea to check that out with a receptionist before your appointment.

You didn’t tell me about what your relationship is like with your mum, but some young people think about asking a parent or trusted adult to help them make an appointment with the doctor. If that feels difficult, maybe you could write her a note to let her know that you feel you need some help outside of school.

You've also talked about self-harming and wanting to stop seeing the worst side to everything. You can take a look at our information on self-harm coping techniques.

If you would like to talk more about what’s going on for you, the ChildLine counsellors are always there to support you. You can phone them free on 0800 1111, or create an account and log on to talk to them by email or 1-2-1 chat which is like instant messenger.

Take care,


Need help straight away?

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

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