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Bullying, self-harm and suicide contacts to ChildLine increase

Can I Tell You Something? report reveals worrying issues affecting children and young people in 2013

8 January 2014

ChildLine has helped over 3.2 million children and young people since its launch in 1986. As times have changed, so have the risks and concerns affecting young people.

During 2012/13, ChildLine counselled 278,886 children and young people - this report is about them and their experience of life in the UK today.

Figures from the report - Can I tell You Something? - show an alarming increase in children and young people contacting ChildLine for support on high risk issues.


The report includes findings on concerns related to:

Read Can I Tell You Something? (PDF 5.30MB)

Worrying increase in contacts about high risk issues

The figures in the 2012/13 report show an alarming increase in the number of contacts from children and young people related to self-harm, online bullying and suicide.

Online bullying

Online bullying (or cyberbullying) is a rapidly growing concern amongst young people - with ChildLine reporting an 87 per cent rise in contacts related to the issue.

Young people have told ChildLine that the 24 hour nature of online bullying means there's no escape and can lead to very serious feelings of isolation, low self-esteem and in a few desperate cases, even suicide.

For more information on online bullying, read:
Cyberbullying: advice for parents
Help and advice on bullying


The report shows a significant increase in the number of contacts about self-harm for the second year running, with the number of young people contactling ChildLine about self-harm up by 41 per cent (compared to 2011/12).

Where age was known, 70 per cent of the contacts we received about self-harm came from young people aged between 12-15 years.

More information about self-harm


There has been a 33 per cent increase in young people talking about suicidal thoughts and feelings. For 16-18 year olds, suicide was the third most common reason to contact ChildLine.

While 17 year olds are the age group most commonly affected by issues relating to suicide, the biggest increase year-on-year has been among 12-15 year olds.

Download the full report (PDF 5.30MB)


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