Hundreds of children counselled over impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak

Over 900 counselling sessions about coronavirus have taken place with children and young people1

Young girl with mobile phone looking worriedChildline has experienced an unprecedented demand for its services as the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic starts to affect children's lives.

Government has given Childline staff and volunteers key worker status as they battle to keep the vital service running and continue to support children. Support hit a peak on Wednesday 18 March, the day the Prime Minister confirmed UK schools would shut, with 121 counselling sessions delivered.

Over half of young people who spoke to Childline last week about coronavirus were counselled for their mental and emotional health around issues like isolation, arguments at home and removal of professional support from schools and the NHS.

Childline also delivered over 50 counselling sessions with children who talked about Coronavirus who were having suicidal thoughts.

"I feel really anxious, upset and lonely. The news has made my mental health worse but my CAMHS appointment has been cancelled and school has closed. I'm stuck at home having a horrible time because my sisters are bullying me because I'm autistic."
Teenage girl who contacted Childline

Tips and advice to help cope with coronavirus (COVID-19)

Visit our coronavirus advice hub for tips and advice for parents and carers - from talking to a child worried about coronavirus to taking care of your mental health and much more.

Childline also has a huge online community where children can get support from their peers on message boards and use expert resources to help them through any issue they're worried about.

If adults are worried about children they can get advice on 0808 800 5000 or

Peter Wanless Peter Wanless, CEO of NSPCC, said:
"The 24/7 news cycle about Coronavirus is causing huge worry and anxiety in young people – particularly those who are already coping with many other issues in their lives.

"Childline provides an essential service to vulnerable children, some of whom may be in a life-threatening situation, which is why our staff and volunteers are working tirelessly to keep Childline running.

"While we are all facing events unprecedented in modern time keeping children safe and providing them with a space to talk about their concerns is our number one priority."

Worried about a child?

Contact our trained helpline counsellors for help, advice and support.

0808 800 5000

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  1. 1. From 21/01/2020 to 22/03/2020, Childline delivered 913 counselling sessions to children and young people who were concerned about the Coronavirus. Of these, 597 (65% of) counselling sessions were with young people who had contacted Childline in the last 7 days (16/03/2020 to 22/03/2020). The highest single day was 18/03/2020 when 121 counselling sessions were delivered.