Ask Sam letter


To Sam

My Besfriend...

Sam, My bestfriend started self harming, I did used to do it, but i spoke to a counciller who helped me. So i stopped. I try and get my bestfriend to stop. She does try, but she never completely stops. She has spoken to councillers who have made her stop for a period of time but she eventually carries on, I hate to see her going through this, I feel like i'm not a good friend if i can't make her stop. Can you give me some advice on how to get her to stop please?
From C*
Ask Sam


Hi C*,

Thanks for your message telling me about your friend. You sound worried that your friend is continuing to self-harm, but I want you to know that it is positive that she is trying to stop and has been able to stop for some time. Many people have to try more than once to stop self-harming and it is important for your friend to know that this is normal. She has done really well so far.

From what you have told me, you are being a very supportive friend. Having gone through the experience yourself, you will know that stopping is a difficult thing. Every person experiences self-harm differently and it’s important that you realise that you can’t make your friend stop self-harming. Only your friend can make the decision to do this. It is important that you are there to help and support her.

You said that your friend has spoken to a counsellor, but it’s unclear if this is a counsellor at ChildLine or a counsellor somewhere else. If she isn’t already in contact with ChildLine, maybe you could suggest it to her. A ChildLine counsellor would support your friend by talking about safety and looking at what might be triggering the self-harm. Talking to a counsellor at ChildLine could also help your friend find ways to cope. You and your friend can find out more about the way ChildLine works.

We have more information about helping a friend who self-harms and coping techniques in our self-harm section. If you feel you would like to talk more about this, you can contact a counsellor yourself by phoning for free on 0800 1111, logging on for a 1-2-1 chat or by sending an email.

Take care for now,

Need help straight away?

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

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