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To Sam

How to get help

Dear Sam, I know you probably get a lot of letters like this, but I want to know how to get help. I know I need help. I have suicidal thoughts and feel really guilty and anxious a lot of the time. I am scared and want to get help but I don't know how. I understand that you probably won't reply as you get a lot of letters per week, but if you did ot would be really helpful. Many thanks

Ask Sam

Sam

Hi there,

Lots of thoughts and feelings can be difficult to cope with on our own and we might need help. If you’re feeling suicidal it's especially important to talk to someone else as it’s much easier to get better when you have support.

There can be many reasons why someone feels like they want to die, or has thoughts about ending their life. It might be linked to things that are going on for them - like bullying, stress at school or worries about money. It might be an expression of how much they want things to change. Feeling like they want to die doesn't always mean someone really does - they may not be able to see any other way out, even though there always is. Talking to someone else will help to find those better solutions that mean you don't have to die for things to be different.

Another reason might be an underlying mental health problem. Depression,  for example,  can make people feel suicidal. Mental health is complex and depression can show itself in  different ways. You don't have to be depressed to be suicidal and you don't have to feel suicidal to have depression. Sometimes though one is caused by the other and if you feel like you have a mental health problem then you might want to go see your doctor.

Your GP is there to help you find the right medical treatment for all kinds of problems and this includes problems with your mental health . Telling your doctor that you feel suicidal won't be shocking to them, it's something they deal with every day and there are a lot of different options they can suggest. Talking with them is a good first step to finding out what other specialist support is available for you to help cope with these feelings.

Finally it's okay to tell those around you as well. You’re the best judge of who is the right  person to talk to but If you trust your parents or carers, they’re probably a good option. It's important to find someone who is there all the time and who you know you can rely on. If you don't have anyone like that right now, or want to try talking to someone anonymous first, then Childline counsellors are always here for you. We can keep most things confidential - including suicidal feelings - it's only when we think you’re going to act on those feelings that we would want to tell someone to keep you safe.

I hope this has helped. Well done for writing to me, I'm glad you took this first step.

Take care.

Sam

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