Childline helped 1,300 young Scots with suicidal thoughts in last year, latest figures show
More than 1,300 children in Scotland experiencing suicidal thoughts or feelings called Childline for help in a year, figures show.
The NSPCC data reveals Childline counsellors delivered 1,345 of these counselling sessions between April 2021 and March 2022.
The figures have been released during Children’s Mental Health Week in a bid to ensure young people know they have somewhere to turn.
Adeniyi Alade, service head of Childline in Scotland, said hundreds of children are struggling with their mental health and it remains “the number one concern” that counsellors speak to youngsters about every day.
She said: “Many of these children tell our counsellors they are the first person they have spoken to and that they’ve not known who else to turn to.
“No matter what a child’s experience is, if they are struggling with their mental health, we believe it is essential they get the support they need to help them cope quickly.
“That’s why this children’s mental health awareness week, we want to remind all young people that Childline is here for them 24/7, whether that be on the phone or via an email or 121 chat.
“As well as speaking with one of our counsellors, we also have lots of resources and advice available online, like our monitored message boards which allow young people to speak with their peers and connect and share their experiences.”
Children who are having suicidal thoughts or feelings are being urged to talk to an adult, have a break and to try and build a healthy routine.
If they feel they have no-one else to turn to or need extra support, they can contact Childline on 0800 1111 or at www.childline.org.uk, where counsellors are available 24 hours a day.
One 15-year-old boy who called Childline said: “For the past few months, I’ve been feeling lonely and like I’m nothing.
“Most recently I’ve had really dark thoughts about suicide.
“I’ve been self-harming as a distraction as wherever I go it’s always on mind – it seems to just follow me and it’s really overwhelming.
“I act as happy when I’m around my mum – she seems to think I’m fine but I’m really dying inside.
“I feel like nobody understands and I don’t know who to tell.
“I’m worried they’ll laugh and won’t believe me or say, ‘you out of all people can’t be feeling that’.”
Sandra Gordon, a Childline counsellor at NSPCC’s Glasgow call centre, said: “We are there to listen, we’d never judge any young person, and we try to build their confidence and self-esteem. We allow them to explore other options and try to make them feel valued.
“For many young people it can be easier to talk to someone you don’t know and it helps to know they can remain anonymous.”
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