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Children talking to ChildLine about loneliness

March 2010

Children talking to ChildLine about loneliness ChildLine Casenotes is a series of reports based on analysis of calls to ChildLine, a free confidential helpline for children and young people in the UK provided by the NSPCC.

Children talking to ChildLine about loneliness (PDF, 384KB) is our latest report and is based on detailed analysis of calls to ChildLine about loneliness from April 2008 to March 2009.

Key findings

  • Between April 2008 and March 2009, ChildLine counselled 5,525 children about loneliness, sadness and isolation1 as their main problem. This is four per cent of all children counselled during those twelve months.

  • Furthermore, 4,399 children were counselled about loneliness as an additional problem. This means that, in total, 9,924 children (6,835 girls and 3,089 boys) were counselled about loneliness as their main or additional problem. This is six per cent of all children counselled by ChildLine.

  • There are different types of loneliness. Some children and young people phone ChildLine because they need someone to talk to. For some young people, loneliness may be a natural part of growing up. However, other children and young people may feel so desperately lonely that their lives are affected in a debilitating and devastating way. Loneliness can be a very serious problem.

1. “Loneliness, sadness and isolation” is the full name of the category used by counsellors to record calls. However, to avoid repetition within this casenote, the shortened term “loneliness” is used to represent the category.

Children talking to ChildLine about loneliness (PDF, 384KB)