'Trapped': Thousands call Childline for mental health help

'Trapped': Thousands call Childline for mental health help

"Trapped" and feeling like a "monster" is how one young person has described their struggle with mental health.

They were just one of more than 50,000 children and young people who turned to Childline last year because of a serious mental health problem.

New data from the NSPCC shows one in six Childline counselling sessions is now about serious mental health issues.

Those aged 12 to 15 made up a third of sessions, with girls almost seven times more likely to seek help than boys.

One 16-year-old girl told Childline: "I want to know what's wrong with me.


"I have been seeing a counsellor about my mental health issues recently but they just told me to eat and sleep better and forget about the past, which didn't help me at all.

"I wish I could speak to someone who actually cared about me and I felt comfortable talking to."

Another young person said: "I'm struggling to cope with bipolar. One minute, I feel so low, like I'm trapped, and all I want to do is disappear.

"Then suddenly, I feel the complete opposite, and I'm really happy and I start thinking about everything in a really positive light.

"I feel like I push away everyone that tries to help, I tell them I hate them and blame them for everything. I just feel like I've turned into a monster."

'Trapped': Thousands call Childline for mental health help

Figures released on Monday show 50,819 children and young people received counselling for a serious mental health issue last year.

This is a rise of 8% over the past four years.

Over four years, there was a 36% rise in youngsters needing help for depression and other disorders.

In September 2016, Childline reported a record number of calls from children with suicidal thoughts.

Early signs of a serious mental health problem in young people include becoming withdrawn from friends and family, being tearful or irritable, sudden outbursts, and problems eating or sleeping.

Peter Wanless, chief executive of the NSPCC, said some mental health problems were a direct result of the person having previously experienced abuse and neglect.

"To ensure the next generation aren't left to deal with a mental health epidemic, there has to be a much more comprehensive network of professional support and treatment in place that is easily accessible for young people who are desperate for help to get their lives back on track," Mr Wanless added.

Childline founder Dame Esther Rantzen said children's mental health services were already "overstretched, meaning that young people aren't able to access the professional help they need".

Dame Esther said: "It's striking how many more children seem to be suffering serious mental health problems today than when we launched Childline 30 years ago.

"So many desperately unhappy children seem to be suffering suicidal thoughts, self-harming, becoming anxious and depressed, with many of them turning to Childline because no other support is available."

Dame Esther said there needed to be more emphasis on providing support for these children.



Add Comment

all comments

  Other news

more
Queen's University Belfast to launch first Irish satellite

Queen's University Belfast to launch first Irish satellite..

25-May, 10:16

Ireland is preparing to launch its first satellite in space, with the...

President Lenin Moreno takes office in Ecuador

President Lenin Moreno takes office in Ecuador..

24-May, 19:01

Ecuador's new President Lenin Moreno has taken office, pledging to...

Ariana Grande Manchester terror attack victim Alison Howe's husband Steve Howe gives emotional phone interview on Good Morning Britain: 'I cant even describe the pain!'

Ariana Grande Manchester terror attack victim Alison Howe's husband Steve Howe gives emotional..

25-May, 04:11

On Monday night 22 people were killed and more than 59 people were...

Fever-Tree founder toasts ?73m share sale

Fever-Tree founder toasts ?73m share sale..

25-May, 07:52

One of the co-founders of upmarket mixer drinks maker Fever-Tree has...

Israel lauds US security ties following Trump disclosures

Israel lauds US security ties following Trump disclosures..

17-May, 06:48

Israeli officials on Wednesday sought to downplay any damage caused by...

2 dead, 10 missing, dozens injured in storms in south Brazil

2 dead, 10 missing, dozens injured in storms in south Brazil..

12-Mar, 19:22

Brazilian authorities say two people died and more than 10 are missing...

Mission nearly impossible this spring: Finding a home to buy

Mission nearly impossible this spring: Finding a home to buy..

10-Apr, 03:24

Anyone eager to buy a home this spring probably has reasons to feel good....

Express Scripts expects to lose biggest customer after 2019

Express Scripts expects to lose biggest customer after 2019..

24-Apr, 19:40

Shares of Express Scripts Holding Co. tumbled in extended trading Monday...