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Thousands turn to ChildLine over holiday season

ChildLine received almost 50,000 cries for help from children and young people in the twelve days from Christmas Eve to 4th January, a 19 per cent increase on last year’s figures.

Contacts by telephone, email or online chat to ChildLine totalled 48,751 over the festive period and figures show a staggering 50 per cent increase in the number of counselling interactions on Christmas Day compared with last year.

Family problems remained the primary concern of children and young people who contacted ChildLine, accounting for 14 per cent of the total counselling interactions.

However, there was a dramatic increase in depression and mental health related counselling, which has increased by 103 per cent compared with Christmas 2010. Counselling regarding self-harm and suicide also increased by 62 per cent and 57 per cent respectively. This comes as more and more children are now contacting ChildLine online where many feel more able to talk about the most difficult issues. Visits to the ChildLine website increased by 57 per cent last year.

In 71 cases over the festive season the situation was so serious that they had to be referred to other agencies such as the police and children’s services, a 109 per cent increase on last year. Around 59 per cent of these referrals were regarding suicide.



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