Childline receives nearly 40 contacts per day from children who feel unhappy

Over the past year, Childline has delivered over 14,000 counselling sessions about low mood or unhappiness to children and young people who have contacted the service.


Delivering 14,253 counselling sessions last year with children struggling with feelings of low mood or unhappiness, our trained Childline counsellors know how vital it is for young people to seek support when they’re struggling with their mental health.

With the support of our partner, Lidl GB, we’ve launched a new campaign to shine a light on this topic. Our Childline service is here for all children with any concern, no matter how small they may seem.

Our new Childline campaign, ‘Find Your Calm’, encourages all children to learn different ways of coping with frequent low mood to find what works for them.

Unhappiness was the second highest sub concern seen by Childline under the main concern of ‘mental health’. Nearly 40% of these counselling sessions were with young people aged between 12 and 15. Many of the young people who spoke to Childline on this topic were also concerned about issues such as loneliness, confidence, loss and anxiety.

We understand that every young person is different, and they may need help in navigating the ups and downs in their lives. This is highlighted in our new film, which follows four teenagers going through their own individual coping methods.

While Childline does provide counselling for issues centred around abuse, young people can talk to our trained counsellors about any concern affecting them.

“I’ve been really struggling with low mood recently. I’ve not been able to get out of bed as I don’t have any motivation. I feel numb but really down, it’s hard to explain. I don't speak to any of my family members about anything and I have a counsellor, but I don’t know when I am due to see them again and the CAMHS crisis lines are only open in office hours. I wouldn't ring anyway, so it’s really only Childline I can speak to when I feel like this.”

- Girl, aged 14, speaking to Childline

Childline offers a variety of ways in which young people can seek support. This includes round-the-clock counsellors available via phone and direct messaging, as well as the option to send an email.

There are also plenty of online resources to support children on our Childline website, and our moderated message boards let young people speak with each other about the concerns they may be having.

“We know that many children are struggling with feelings of unhappiness. There are lots of reasons why this could be – problems at home, with their friends, societal factors or schoolwork.”

“We would encourage all children to reach out for support with these feelings, and Childline is here to listen. It doesn’t matter how small the concern may seem – we are here for every young person.”

- Shaun Friel, Childline Director