Childline annual review 2016/17: Not alone anymore What children and young people are talking to Childline about

I wasn’t alone: Childline annual review 2016/17Our Childline service gives children and young people a safe and confidential space to talk, be listened to and get support. In 2016/17 we provided more than 295,000 counselling sessions.

Our annual review explores what children and young people are telling Childline during counselling sessions. It looks at who is contacting Childline, why, when and how. It focuses on 3 key areas:

  • anxiety
  • suicidal thoughts and feelings
  • what children who are d/Deaf, disabled or have a health condition are talking to Childline about.

It also highlights strategies that young people tell Childline they find helpful when coping with challenges.

Author: NSPCC
Published: 2017

  • In 2016/17, Childline provided over 295,000 counselling sessions to children and young people.
  • The Childline website received over 3.2 million web visits and has almost 850,000 total registered users.
  • 1 in 3 Childline counselling sessions related to mental and emotional health and wellbeing issues (including self-harm and suicidal thoughts or feelings).
  • There were over 13,700 counselling sessions about anxiety.
  • There were over 22,400 counselling sessions about suicidal thoughts and feelings - the highest ever.
  • The top 3 concerns young people were counselled about were mental and emotional health; family relationships; and bullying or cyberbullying.
  • There were over 21,800 counselling sessions where a child or young person’s main concern was abuse (this includes sexual, physical, or emotional abuse and neglect).
  • There were over 8,000 counselling sessions with children or young people who told us they had special educational needs, d/Deaf, disabled or had a health condition.
  • Sexting was the most viewed information and advice topic on the Childline website.
  • The number of counselling sessions about anxiety has increased by 17 per cent.
  • The number of counselling sessions about suicidal thoughts or feelings has increased by 15 per cent.
  • There was a 13 per cent increase in counselling to children and young people who told us they had special educational needs, were d/Deaf, disabled or had a health condition.
  • There were 221,840 page views to Childline’s webpage about sexting, a 20 per cent increase on last year.
Foreword 2
Introduction 4
Overview of 2016/17 6
Key statistics for 2016/17 19
Reasons why children and young people contact Childline 20
Referring children to external agencies 21
Anxiety 23
Suicidal thoughts or feelings 31
Children and young people with special educational needs, disabilities or a health condition 41
How Childline helped me 54
Appendices 57
1. How and when children and young people contact Childline 58
2. Who contacts Childline – breakdown by age and gender 59
3. Overviews by nation 65
4. Recording concerns 67
Childline resources 68
References 72

"Thank you for being so caring to me the other night after I had taken an overdose. It was messy but because of Childline I wasn't alone. I just got home from the hospital today and am feeling much better physically and about life in general. I am now getting proper help."

"Childline is the first place I could open up about stuff and the counsellors really helped. I never came across anyone so kind and helpful. You’ve been there when I was at my worst, at 2am when everything else was shut and everyone was asleep."

Please cite as: NSPCC (2017) Not alone anymore: Childline annual review 2016/17. London: NSPCC.

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