Ask Sam letter


To Sam

What does my counsellor have to share?

I'm scared about how I'm feeling and what I'll do to myself, I've cut before and attempted suicide which failed. But recently I've been feeling suicidal again and i want to tell my counsellor how I'm feeling but also that I'm staying away from thoughts like that, would she have to pass that on?
Ask Sam



Counsellors can be really powerful ways to get support, particularly if you find someone you feel comfortable talking to. It’s important to agree with your counsellor what the limits and rules are, so that things are clear. Whatever happens, the more you tell them the better they’ll be able to help.

It’s difficult to say exactly what would happen, but it’s okay to ask your counsellor about confidentiality first and who they might tell if they’re worried about you. You don’t have to say everything at once and this might help you to decide how much you’d like to talk about to begin with.

If you’re feeling worried about your counsellor passing on what you say you could even mention this to them to help them understand. You can find out more about talking about your mental health with a GP. Some of this may be different to talking to a counsellor.

ChildLine confidentiality is different from school and other organisations. A school counsellor, for example would usually have to inform your parent or carer if they thought you were doing anything to harm yourself.

ChildLine counsellors talk to young people about suicidal thoughts and self-harm and their safety is always important. If you’re feeling suicidal but can show us that you’re not seriously considering acting on these thoughts we wouldn’t break confidentiality. You can read more about our confidentiality promise before talking.

If you don’t feel ready to talk to your counsellor about some things you could talk to a ChildLine counsellor. They can help you talk about how you feel and even help you to think what you could say to your counsellor. You can ask our counsellors anything that you want to help you feel safe talking to them.

Take care,

Need help straight away?

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

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