Calls to ChildLine from children feeling suicidal have risen by 15% in a year, the helpline has revealed.
The review found 22,456 counselling sessions were delivered to young people dealing with thoughts of ending their own lives - a rise of 15% compared to the previous year. This equates to 62 counselling issues a day on suicide alone.
Children as young as 10 reported feeling suicidal. The top three additional concerns mentioned during suicide counselling sessions were:
- mental health issues
- family relationships
Childline’s annual review 2016-17 found that the charity carried out more than 295,000 counselling sessions during the year. One in three Childline counselling sessions related to mental and emotional health and wellbeing issues.
The top three concerns young people were counselled about were mental and emotional health; family relationships; and bullying or cyberbullying.
The helpline also received more than 21,800 contacts from young people where their main concern was abuse, including sexual, physical, or emotional abuse and neglect.
ChildLine also started recording the counselling sessions where young people raised concerns about terrorism, radicalisation or extremism – there were 106, and almost half of these were about terrorism in particular.
Esther Rantzen, president of ChildLine, said: “When Childline launched over 30 years ago, I remember children usually felt suicidal because they were being hurt by someone. Now young people tell us they are overwhelmed by mental health issues taking them to the brink of suicide. We must discover why so many of our young people feel so isolated they turn to Childline because they believe no one else cares about them.”