74 per cent of Childline Yorkshire counselling sessions now take place online

Poor mental health, difficulty with family relationships, and suicidal thoughts were the top three reasons young people across the region called Childline in 2018/19.

Monday, 16th March 2020, 12:57 pm
Updated Monday, 16th March 2020, 12:58 pm
Childline volunteers

The Yorkshire Childline base, which marks its 23rd anniversary this year, has helped to provide 224,215 counselling sessions to children and young people throughout Yorkshire since it launched in 1997.

The centre, which includes a number of volunteers from across South Yorkshire, joined forces with the NSPCC in 2006, and changed to online-only contacts in 2011.

Since that time, the centre has been contacted 52,134 times by young people in need, and 74 per cent of its counselling sessions have also taken place online, via email or live chat messages.

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Childline volunteers

Darren Worth, senior supervisor at the Childline base, in Leeds, said: “Sadly for many of the children who contact Childline today the issues, such as sexual abuse, family relationships and mental anguish are the same issues that children were calling us about back when the service first began.

“However we have seen a change in that technology has given a new layer to these issues, for example bullying used to stop at the school gates, but with access to smart devices it means that for many children it can be relentless.

“Childline is working hard to reflect the changes in technology and by offering our online contacts, our app, our website with message boards we can try to react to the online pressures but this all takes precious resources and so your help is vital to be there for even more children.”

On average, Childline receives a call every 25 seconds from a child or young person in distress.

Due to demand, and a shortage of resources, Childline is currently only able to help two out of every three of the children that contact them.

Darren added: “In 2018/19, the average handling time for an online counselling session was over twice as long as the average for a counselling session by phone, so we need more funding to help us be there for children who need our help.

“In 2018/19 the base provided 8,581 counselling sessions on subjects including friendship issues, self-harm, suicide and sexual abuse.

“Just £4 can help us answer a contact from a child in need.”

Visit the NSPCC website to donate.