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Stop Before Too Late

Dear Sam,
My friend has been self-harming for a few days now and I want to stop it before it's too late.Things aren't going well in her/his home and her/his Mum hardly notices him/her.
I want to tell the guidance counsellor, but I'm scared he/she'll hate me for it.
What should I do? Please help.
Ask Sam

Sam

Hi there

Thanks for getting in touch.

When I was reading your letter I could hear how much you care for your friend. You want to help them, but at the same time you want to stay loyal and not break their trust. When we are really worried about someone, it can feel hard to know what to do. Sometimes it can feel like a lot of responsibility to know something that we have to keep to ourselves which worries us. You've really done the right thing to talk about his.

It sounds like the reason you want to tell the guidance counsellor is to help your friend to keep safe. It's clear that you are doing this in your friend's best interest.

Even if your friend does fall out with you, it’s important to remember your reason was to help. You were not trying to hurt or upset your friend. It would be good to think about what you would like to happen if you did tell someone, as this might help you to decide if telling the guidance counsellor is the right thing for you to do.

You haven’t mentioned if your friend knows that you know they self-harm, so I’m unsure about how much you have talked to them. Some people don’t mind being honest, but other people try to hide their self-harm. Starting up a conversation can be harder if it’s not something they want to talk about. You could check out our tips about helping a friend.

If you are ever seriously concerned about the way your friend has hurt themselves, and think they might be in danger, it is important to tell an adult you trust. You can call 999 to get help straight away if your friend has hurt themselves really badly.

For some people, talking things through can help them to cope with what’s happening in their lives, so that they don’t need to self-harm as often. You could also let your friend know about the counsellors at ChildLine. They are there to support everyone with self-harm, to talk about how they are feeling and to help them to keep safe when they do self-harm.

A lot of young people get advice and support on the ChildLine message boards, so this is a place your friend could go to get some help. You and your friend might also like to take a look at our page about self-harm.

Looking out for a friend can be very worrying and upsetting, so it’s important to look after yourself too. You can contact ChildLine anytime you want to talk.

Take care,

Sam

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