Ask Sam letter


To Sam

mental health problems

hello my dad has mental illlness and he said the dog has lost 4 teeth and he blamed me and i just want to be friends again he dont answer the door to me why
Ask Sam


Hi there,

Thanks for writing to me.

I can hear that it is a difficult and confusing time for you and you’ve done the right thing in contacting me.

For many people they can find it difficult when a family member, especially a close one has mental health illness. It can be really difficult to see people you care about suffering. It can be normal for you to feel upset, ashamed or even angry that your dad can’t look after you as much as you would like him to.

You haven’t said what your dad’s mental health illness is, but often it can be less stressful or worrying to have an understanding of what they have. If you haven’t already you may want to look at our page on mental health which gives some information on mental health issues.

It’s important that you get support to help you cope especially when your dad maybe going through a particularly difficult time. There are people who can support you through this, such as a school counsellor, mentor or guidance teacher or a trusted family member. Some doctor’s surgeries may be able to offer support for the family if someone has been diagnosed with a mental health illness and perhaps this is something you can look into. Some people can find it helpful to write down their feelings, draw pictures, listen to music, go for walks, write stories or create something to express how they’re feeling. Perhaps these are some things here you can try.

You may find it helpful to go on the ChildLine message boards to post messages that other young people who may be in a similar situation can read and use as a way of getting some support. You will also be able to read message on the boards if you chose not to post.

You may want to talk to a ChildLine counsellor about things in more detail. You can do this by calling them on 0800 1111, having a 1-2-1 chat or sending them an email.

Take care,


Need help straight away?

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

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