17:54 Monday 21 January 2013

Figures show festive rise in kids' concerns

Written byBY ROB SMYTH

NEW figures have revealed how hundreds of children from Burton and South Derbyshire took part in counselling session during the festive season.

Childline counselled 1,306 children and young people during a 12-day period from Christmas Eve to January 4.

The main reason children accessed support was for issues relating to emotional wellbeing, self-harm and family relationships.

One young person, from East Staffordshire, contacted Childline and said: “I’m really sad as my mum will be in hospital over Christmas.

“I just need someone to talk to about it. I lost my dad a couple of years ago and I don’t want to lose my mum, too.”

Another young person said: “Christmas is a really hard time of year. My parents are divorced and I always have to spend Christmas with my dad.

“My dad scares me, he can get really angry and mean. I feel sorry for my mum because she wants me to spend Christmas with her.”

Ziv Israeli, from West Midlands ChildLine, said: “ChildLine is a vital lifeline for thousands of young people who desperately need support and advice – often on very complex and sensitive issues.

“Christmas can be a particularly difficult time for vulnerable young people and a general lack of services and support during this time can make everything feel more difficult to resolve.

“None of this work with children and young people would be possible without the dedication of our trained volunteer counsellors who work tirelessly around the clock to ensure that the most vulnerable young people can get the safe and trusted support they need.”

Across the UK, there was a significant rise in counselling sessions related to self harm.

More children were also counselled about emotional abuse and eating problems and, for the first time, suicide featured in the top five concerns during Christmas, having increased by 64 per cent from the same period last year.

More information is available by calling 08448 920217 or visiting www.nspcc.org.uk

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