Almost 7,000 Childline counselling sessions with children about the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak

Almost 7,000 counselling sessions about coronavirus have taken place with children and young people

Young girl with mobile phone looking worriedSince the start of January Childline has delivered 6,938 counselling sessions to children and young people who have got in touch about Coronavirus (COVID-19)1.

In April, we launched our urgent appeal Still here for children to help us fund vital services like Childline, so we can continue to be here for children who need help.

The main concerns that children and young people have been talking about are the same as before lockdown. But there's been an increase in the proportion of counselling sessions which are about mental health and wellbeing2.

Indeed, every week since lockdown we delivered over 2,000 counselling sessions with children concerned about their mental health and emotional wellbeing – totalling nearly 17,000 over 7 weeks3.  

For many young people, the difficult circumstances they were already facing, which can include abuse, domestic violence and difficult family relationships, have been exacerbated during lockdown leaving them feeling alone and trapped.

 

The main concerns that children and young people have been talking about are the same as before lockdown. But there’s been an increase in the proportion of counselling sessions which are about mental health and wellbeing.


"I am scared about the coronavirus. I'm finding it hard to cope at the moment and it feels like it’s the end of the world. When I was little I developed OCD and had been to therapy which has helped me to deal with the stress better. However, the Coronavirus has triggered it again and I'm really struggling, I don’t know what to do. Please help."
18-year-old girl who contacted Childline

Tips and advice to help cope with coronavirus (COVID-19)

Visit our coronavirus advice hub for tips and advice for parents and carers - from talking to a child worried about coronavirus to taking care of your mental health and much more.

Childline also has a huge online community where children can get support from their peers on message boards and use expert resources to help them through any issue they're worried about.

If adults are worried about children they can get advice on 0808 800 5000 or help@nspcc.org.uk.

Dame Esther Rantzen, Founder of Childline, said: 

“Children and families have faced extraordinary challenges because of the Coronavirus pandemic and the next few months will be no different.

 “Childline provides a vital lifeline to young people who are trying to cope with the fear, anxiety and distress caused by the pandemic. We know from the counselling sessions we have delivered that children’s mental health has been directly impacted and those children who are living in homes which are not safe, where there is violence, addiction or abuse are finding it especially difficult during lockdown. Young people in times of stress often find that their friends and the security of school are crucial to their mental wellbeing, but now they are without them, and are isolated and alone.

“It is imperative that we are there, particularly for those whose usual support networks are not in place and have nowhere else to turn. We are urging the public to support our Still Here for Children appeal so we can continue to support our young people whose lives have changed overnight.”

Worried about a child?

Contact our trained helpline counsellors for help, advice and support.

0808 800 5000

Report a concern

References

  1. 1. Between 23 March and 10 May 2020, our Childline service delivered 30,868 counselling sessions.

  2. 2. The top 5 main concerns were: mental/emotional health (36%); suicidal thoughts and feelings (13%); family relationships (12%); self-harm (6%); and sex/ relationships/ puberty (4%).

  3. 3. Taken together, counselling sessions about mental /emotional health; suicidal thoughts and feelings; and self-harm account for over half (16,644) of all counselling during this 7-week period.