Children call Childline once every six minutes with mental health concerns

According to a new report by ChildLine Counsellors received a call every six minutes from a child with mental health-related concerns.

Research from the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) revealed one in 10 young people who contact ChildLine report abuse.

The service - which has a contact centre in Church Street, Old Basford, was contacted by almost 100 youngsters a week last year who have been abused and whose mental health and wellbeing are suffering as a result.

In all, 85,000 counselling sessions for young people with mental health-related concerns – equal to one every six minutes - were taken in 2014-15 by the NSPCC's free 24-hour service.

Of these, 6, 840 were taken in Nottingham, though they can come from anywhere in the UK.

Counsellors helped young people suffering from unhappiness, suicidal thoughts, low self-esteem and diagnosed mental health disorders such as bipolar. Of these over 5,000 involved children who also sought help for sexual or physical abuse.

Many felt they had been left to fend for themselves.

One 15-year-old who contacted the Nottingham base said: "I've been really down and lonely for a while now. I don't see my friends much any more and spend most of time in my bedroom. I feel as if I have so much pain inside and I don't know how to release it."

Untreated anxiety disorders can spiral into clinical depression, self-harming, and suicidal feelings in adulthood, the report, called Always There When I Need You, warns.

Gaynor Birnie, manager of the ChildLine base in Nottingham, said: "This report highlights just how important ChildLine is to children and young people and how we can help them when they are struggling with all manner of mental health problems."

Rosie Golton, volunteer co-ordinator at the centre, said: "Every day our volunteers here in Nottingham carry out counselling sessions with children and young people. Mental health concerns are often at the root of their reason for contacting us and our volunteers do an amazing job in offering hope and support to those who are struggling."

ChildLine founder Esther Rantzen said: "Many of today's children feel utterly miserable – for some, they feel that life is not worth living. We need more help and support for young people."

The Post is supporting the NSPCC's Coffee Morning Challenge, which encourages people to organise 125 coffee mornings to mark 125 years of the NSPCC being based in Nottingham, helping to support services like ChildLine.

Article found on The Nottingham Post