Childline counselling session every 11 minutes about key mental health issues

There were over 92,000 Childline counselling sessions with children and young people about mental health and wellbeing in 2015/16. Of these over 50,000 related to suicidal feelings, self-harm, mental health or depressive disorders.

This is an average of 1 counselling session every 11 minutes.

NSPCC  figures reveal:-

  • 50,819 counselling sessions about these mental health issues in 2015/16
  • 1 in 6 of all Childline counselling sessions were focused on these mental health issues
  • girls were almost 7 times more likely to seek help than boys.

The NSPCC says the figures raise further concerns about the level of mental health care available to children and young people.

The statistics highlight how young people are increasingly dealing with a range of problems that include depressive disorders, self-harm and suicidal feelings.

The sharpest increase in counselling sessions delivered over the last 4 years were for mental health and depressive disorders, up by 36%.

There was also an increase in the number of counselling sessions about suicidal feelings.

More than 1 in 3 counselling sessions about these mental health issues were with 12-15 year olds.

Dame Esther Rantzen, President of Childline 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.

“We know CAMHS are terribly overstretched, meaning that young people aren’t able to access the professional help they need. We believe there needs to be far more emphasis on providing help for these children as they struggle to deal with what are very serious illnesses.”


Matthew Pearce Head of Communications Hafal