The Press and Journal (Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire)

Counsellin­g for kids as demand for Childline services increases


Children in Aberdeen have been counselled by Childline as demand for the service increases amid the coronaviru­s outbreak.

Almost 20% of counsellin­g sessions given to children worried about the virus have come from the Aberdeen and Glasgow Childline bases.

Support hit a peak on Wednesday, March 18, when the Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that UK schools would shut.

There were 121 sessions given on the issue that day.

Over half of the young people who spoke to the service last week said they were struggling to cope with isolation, arguments at home and the removal of profession­al support from schools and the NHS.

One teenage girl told a counsellor: “I feel really anxious and I feel upset and lonely.

“The news has made my mental health worse but my CAMHS appointmen­t has been cancelled and school has closed.

“I’m stuck at home having a horrible time because my sisters are bullying me because I’m autistic.”

Last week, Childline delivered over 50 counsellin­g sessions to children who were having suicidal thoughts, exacerbate­d by the pandemic as they felt trapped and isolated.

Most of the young people supported in relation to the impact of coronaviru­s were girls aged between 12 and 15.

Peter Wanless, CEO of the NSPCC, said: “Childline provides an essential service to vulnerable children, some of whom may be in a life-threatenin­g situation, which is why our staff and volunteers are working tirelessly to keep Childline running.

“While we are all facing events unpreceden­ted in modern time, keeping children safe and providing them with a space to talk about their concerns is our number one priority.”

As well as calling Childline’s free confidenti­al helpline on 0800 11 11, young people can also send emails to trained counsellor­s or receive support online via one-to-one chat by visiting or by downloadin­g the For Me app.

 ??  ?? Peter Wanless
Peter Wanless

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