Childline carried out 4,636 counselling sessions for loneliness in 2017/18 – a 14% rise on the previous year. Young people spoke to Childline about struggling with feelings of isolation and loneliness due to mental health issues, bullying and social media use.
Girls received almost 80% of sessions, some of who shared concerns about:
- the harmful effects of social media use
- how comparing themselves to others online made them feel increasingly isolated.
Almudena Lara, NSPCC Head of Policy and Public Affairs, said: “These Childline figures show that although we might not think of loneliness as something that affects young people. But children are increasingly seeking support about feeling alone and isolated.
“This year the Prime Minster announced a strategy on tackling loneliness and social isolation, and the NSPCC would urge those working on this taskforce to take children and how they are now engaging with the world fully into account.”