Ask Sam letter


To Sam

Sad and depressed..

For the last month or so I have been feeling really down, my carer and social worker always say that I may have depression, I also feel I do, I'm down all the time and I don't enjoy anything, I always wake up and wish I didn't, my home life is bad because I live in care and at school I only have one friend.. All the others will not talk to me.. I self harm and I've been thinking of suicide a lot lately, I went to do it a few days ago but childline rang the police who came and took the paracetamol, I feel stuck and confused and I don't know what to do, I don't like talking to adults and I've tried talking to my doctor but that didn't work, what can I do now?
Ask Sam


Hi there,

I’m really glad you’ve written to me about this. You sound as though you’ve been having a really difficult time and it’s good that you’ve started talking to people about this. I can tell that it feels hard to speak to adults and you didn’t find that it helped when you went to speak to your doctor. Sometimes it can help to go back to the doctor a few times so that he or she knows that the problem is still happening. It can also be a good idea to write down the things you want to say as well as the sort of support you think you might like from the doctor. How would you feel about doing that? It can take a lot of courage to speak out about how you feel and I’m wondering whether you’d feel able to ask your carer or social worker to go with you if you decide to go back to the doctor.

You said that you agree with your carer and social worker who say that you might have depression and it seems as though you’ve been trying to cope with a lot. You said that you self-harm and have been thinking lots of suicide. I’m concerned to hear that you were about to do it the other day. You did so well to get in touch with ChildLine to get support for yourself and they can carry on being there for you whenever you need to talk. You don’t need to go through this on your own.

From what you explained life at home is bad because you’re living in care. How would you feel about telling your social worker about the things in care that are making you unhappy? Remember that you have the right to ask to speak to your social worker alone if this would help. If you don’t feel as though your social worker has been helpful, you can also get support from an advocacy service. An advocate is somebody who will help to support you in getting your voice heard. There are lots of advocacy organisations available for young people to use, including Voice - you can call them on  0808 800 5792 or the National Youth Advocacy Service - you can call them on 0800 61 61 01.

I’m not sure which area of the country you’re living it but I just thought I’d let you know that the NSPCC offers a face-to-face counselling service for young people living in care in some areas of the country. If you’d like to find out a bit more about this service, you can take a look at the NSPCC website.

It’s really important for you to have the right help to stay safe if you ever feel you might try to end your life. This could be making sure that you ring or chat to ChildLine if you think you might do something, like you told me you have done in the past, or speaking to somebody you trust. You can also call 999 for emergency help or go to your nearest A&E department.

When you’ve got a lot of difficult thoughts and feelings to cope with, it can be really useful to find a way to try and let them out. Different things work best for each person but you might find it helps to write about how you feel or express it in a creative way (like drawing or singing). Other people find it helpful to do an activity they enjoy. It can take time to find out what works best for you but if you want to think about what would help you most, you can always talk to a ChildLine counsellor.

Thank you so much for getting in touch and sharing what you’re going through.

I hope you get the help you need.

Take care,


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