Alex's Answer

I called Childline but was told to use other services for suicidal thoughts after a 20 minute conversation.

Your Question

Hello, After 20 minutes of a conversation chat was closed by the person his name is Ben. Basically telling me to use other services for suicide thoughts. I feel like that I could come here talk you know without judgement etc. If they are busy they could just say it rather than end the chat after 20minutes.


Hi there, you’re very welcome to Ask Alex. 

Thanks for reaching out to us about our online chat service.  

You are saying that you were chatting to a volunteer, they directed you to other support services and then ended the chat after 20 minutes. It’s understandable if you found this upsetting, to be opening up to someone about what you’re going through and for the chat to end suddenly. Just to say, there is no time limit on how long you can chat to Childline on calls, texts or our webchat service. You are free to talk about whatever you like without judgement. We’re sorry to hear that you had a bad experience and felt that we were too busy to continue the chat.  

Technical issues can happen from time to time, or volunteers might be coming to the end of their shift and need to transfer chats. We understand this can be unexpected. Please know that even if this happens, you can continue a chat with another volunteer or give us a call instead. We are here to listen and want to talk to you. 

Childline is concerned to hear that you might have thoughts around suicide. You have taken a good step in telling us about how you feel. You have the right to be happy and it’s important that you discuss these thoughts with a trusted adult such as a parent, older sibling, teacher, coach or other family member. Childline has a lot of information on our website around different topics like thoughts and feelings. You might find this useful in making sense of what you’re going through: Jigsaw is another service that offers mental health advice to young people. The information provided on their website might be helpful to you too: If you feel like you are ever in immediate danger, self-harm/suicidal thoughts or otherwise, you can call the Emergency services on 999 or 112 and they will keep you safe from harm. 

Of course, you are always welcome to give us at Childline another chance. You can reach us by phone on 1800 66 66 66, or Free Text 50101 or through our webchat on Childline is here for you, and we are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. All services are free and confidential. 

We hope to chat to you again soon, 

Take care, 


Ask me a question

You can ask me about anything you want, there’s nothing too big or small.