Ask Sam letter


To Sam

i am in care

i am in care because i have reacently lost my mum to cancer so it is really hard snd i also self harm an i am trying very hard to stop can you plz help me.

Ask Sam


Hi there,

Losing someone we love to illness is incredibly difficult. It’s normal to find it really hard. Many people experience a variety of emotions when someone dies. It’s important to know that you don’t have to cope with these emotions alone. People often find that it helps to talk their feelings through with someone they trust. That could be another family member, a friend, a teacher you get on with or maybe a ChildLine counsellor.

Another idea is making a memory box, where you can store things like photos, poems and letters that help you to remember your mum. Lots of young people have written about their own experiences of loss on our bereavement message board. You might find it helpful to read through their posts and think about whether you’d like to write your own.

It seems like you’ve had to deal with another really big change in your life at the same time as losing your mum, by going to live in care. Living with new people in a different environment is a massive life change. It’s important that you get help and support with adapting to that. You might want to think about talking to an adult that you trust about how you're feeling to see what support they can offer you. This could be your carer, a social worker or a teacher.

You explained that you’re trying really hard to try and stop self-harming and you should be really proud of yourself for the effort you’re putting into that. If self-harm has helped you to cope, stopping can be a challenge. It’s often useful to get some support to help you find safer ways to deal with difficult feelings. This support could come from your doctor, a school nurse if you have one, or maybe your carer or social worker.

If you do self-harm it’s important to keep yourself as safe as possible, by keeping anything you use to harm yourself and any wounds clean. If you ever harm yourself more than you mean to, or can’t stop a wound from bleeding, you can ring 999 to get help straight away.

Some people find expressing their worries by drawing them or writing them down can be a useful way to get them out safely. Others find things like listening to music or maybe exercising helpful. You might like to take a look at our self-harm coping techniques in your own time.

ChildLine counsellors are here to listen and support you too. You can talk to them for free by phoning 0800 1111, sending an email, or logging 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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