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My mum is suicidal... I think. What should I do

I am 17 and I have a 10 year old younger sister. The other day I was at my friends house until 11. When I got home, my mum was on the phone to her boyfriend in tears. she told me to go away so I just went to bed. When she came up, I said "Did you have an arguement?" and she said "no." that's it. she just walked out of my room and went to bed. The next morning when she woke up, she was really narky and telling me and my sister off over stupid little things. She had a shower and went downstairs. She put the kettle on but while it was boiling she took the phone and went and sat in the garden. I saw her on the phone for a while and she was crying. Then after the phone call, she was sat there crying and staring into space. I left her alone for about 10 mins and then I went out and spoke to her. she just told me "she was sick of all the money problems and she's just too stressed and she's recovering from a major surgery at the moment. She then went into town quickly to get some food but left her phone. I know I shouldn't but I was worried about her so I went on her phone. I look at her internet history and she's googled things like "suicidal myths" "should I kill myself" "sleeping my life away" "I don't want to live on this planet anymore".

My question is... how do I talk to her or talk to someone else without her knowing I've been on her phone. if she found out, she would never forgive me because she says I'm nosy.

Ask Sam


Hi there,

I can see how stuck you’re feeling because looking at messages and web history on other people’s phones is generally not a good idea, but it seems like on this occasion you have found something that is really worrying you. 

I know that you feel you shouldn’t have looked at mum’s phone but it sounds like you were very concerned about her low state of mind. She may be a little annoyed that you have looked through her private stuff but also it may give her the chance to talk about what’s on her mind and how she is feeling.

If you find talking to mum too difficult then you might want to consider talking to another adult you trust. They might be able to bring it up with your mum with you, so that you aren’t doing it alone. For this to work they’d need to be someone your mum can trust too, so it would be important to think about that.

We have some information about supporting someone with suicidal feelings. There is also support available to adults who are feeling suicidal and mum could contact the Samaritans if she wanted – though it’s always okay for you to call 999 if you think she needs help right away.

Don't forget that you deserve support during this time too. If you ever need to talk to someone the ChildLine counsellors are always there to listen to you. You can email, call on 0800 1111 or log on for a 1-2-1 chat.

I hope this helps,

Need help straight away?

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

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