CHILDLINE ADVICE: Mental health is proving the top concern for young people

Childline help is only a phone call away.Childline help is only a phone call away.
Childline help is only a phone call away.
Things have been different – and difficult – this year, but amid all the changes we’ve faced, our Childline counsellors have remained available to young people throughout the pandemic.

As most of us were forced to spend more time at home, some young people faced increased tensions and family conflicts, while others felt their mental health deteriorate as Covid-19 changed the world.

Between April 1 and September 30 this year, we delivered 37,168 counselling sessions with young people across the country who wanted to talk about their mental and emotional health.

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In fact, mental health has been the top concern for young people who have contacted Childline this year. Anxiety was mentioned in almost a third of the counselling sessions which took place between March and September, with other concerns in that period including low mood, depression, confidence issues and low self-esteem.

Children talked about feeling “trapped” and “overwhelmed”, worried about their school work, their parents’ jobs, and being isolated in their homes, and those were already coping with other issues in their lives reported increased worry and anxiety.

Even now, as lockdown changes across the UK, the changes themselves cause increased anxiety as new rules are introduced around social distancing and even playing together at school.

Whatever your child is worried about – whether it’s school, relationships, coronavirus or changes to their everyday life - their mental wellbeing will be affected, so it’s important they know they don’t have to suffer in silence.

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You can remind them of that with a simple ‘is everything okay?’, and discussing their concerns. If they don’t feel able to speak to you about it, please remind them they can talk anonymously to young people on our website, or to our specially-trained counsellors.

We’re still here, on the frontline for children and young people whenever they need us.

It might not be the most comforting thought, but we know that, at least for the time being, coronavirus isn’t going anywhere but what should be reassuring is that whatever the world is throwing at us, our Childline councillors aren’t going anywhere either.