Ask Sam letter


To Sam

My mum hears voices

So my Mother has a mental disablity, and she behaves like a child and can hear voices in her head. I live with my dad, he is great but I wish I had my Mother there to support me and I wish I didnt have to see her in this state. 

To whom can I talk to about this, I love my friends but I have never talked to them about my problems before.

Ask Sam


Hi there,

Thank you for writing to me and letting me know just how difficult things are for you. Your feelings about your mum are important and they deserve to be listened to and taken seriously. I’m really pleased you’ve written such an honest and open letter. Hopefully I can suggest a few ideas that may help you.

Firstly, some young people find that it can help to write their thoughts and feelings down in a journal. This can help to get some of those painful feelings out and help you make sense of things. You might choose to share your journal with somebody you trust, to help them understand just how difficult you find things.

The way you’ve talked about your friends makes me think you would like to be able to talk to them about your situation. Maybe you could start with some small steps, like mentioning one or two things your mum has said or done that have worried you. It might help your friends if you let them know what sort of support you want. You might just want a hug or someone to listen, or you might want some practical help with a particular problem.

It sounds like you have a good understanding of how your mum’s disability affects her. Many young people tell me that they find it helpful to have as much information as possible when someone in their family is unwell. If you’ve got any extra questions, maybe you could share them with your dad? You mentioned that your dad is great and I’m really pleased to hear that. You might also want to ask your dad if you could go to your doctor and see if they could refer you to local support, like counselling or groups for families of people with disabilities.

You might also like to think about what support there is at school. Living with someone who needs extra care can make school work more difficult, or could mean that you are really tired or sometimes late to classes. It’s important that school understand, so that they can help you with those problems. Maybe there is a favourite teacher you could talk to?

We have some advice and information about young carers and mental health which I hope you might find useful.

Finally, Young Carers is an organisation who support young people, like you, who look after someone in their family. Perhaps you could have a look at their website to learn more about them.

Remember the counsellors at Childline are also here to listen to and support you. You can choose how you get in touch. You can speak to a counsellor by email, 1-2-1 chat or by calling 0800 1111 for free. Whichever option you choose, they will be happy to hear from you.

Take care,


Need help straight away?

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

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