A child calls ChildLine every six minutes about a mental health problem

Web child in bedroom phone laptop studying

Last year ChildLine provided nearly 290,000 counselling sessions to children and young people

Paul Cardwell's photo

10th September 2015 by Paul Cardwell 0 Comments

Almost 100 children call ChildLine every week suffering from mental health problems as a result of being abused.

The charity, operated by NSPCC, revealed the figure in its annual review which highlighted that it receives a call from a child with mental health problems every six minutes.

Last year it provided nearly 290,000 counselling sessions to children and young people.

In those, 85,000 young people spoke about mental health-related issues – including 5,000 who sought help for mental, physical or sexual abuse.

Overall there were 29,126 counselling sessions about abuse – with over 11,000 of those reporting the abuse had been sexual.

We risk failing a generation of children if we leave them without the vital support they need to recover

Resulting problems ranged from children and young people suffering from unhappiness, suicidal thoughts, low self-esteem and diagnosed mental health disorders like bipolar.

Worryingly the Always there when I need you review, reported many of ChildLine's 1,400 trained volunteers had heard from young that they felt they had been left to deal with these problems alone.

A staggering four out of five expressed concerns about how to access support services relating to mental health and wellbeing with reports of experiencing lengthy waiting times, lack of out-of-hours support, service closures and an absence of information – often leaving them feeling anxious, frightened and overwhelmed.

Peter Wanless, NSPCC chief executive, called for the stats to act as a wake-up call saying more needs to be done or we risk failing a generation.

“Thousands of vulnerable children – many of whom have been abused – are silently coping with serious issues that leave them racked with worry when instead they should be getting help to rebuild their childhoods,” he said.

“We risk failing a generation of children if we leave them without the vital support they need to recover.”

ChildLine founder Esther Rantzen added: “Many of today’s children feel utterly miserable – for some, they feel that life is not worth living.

“We need more help and support for young people.

“We must give them a chance to tell us what is in their hearts.”