A total of 22,456 sessions were given to children in the UK thinking about taking their own life – up from 19,481 the year before, the charity Childline reported, but the helpline says it can answer only three out of every four calls and urgently needs more volunteers.
Childline founder and president Dame Esther Rantzen told the BBC it was vital to find out why so many young people are feeling so desperate.
“When Childline launched over 30 years ago, I remember children usually felt suicidal because they were being hurt by someone. Now young people tell us they are overwhelmed by mental health issues taking them to the brink of suicide. We must discover why so many of our young people feel so isolated they turn to Childline, because they believe no one else cares about them.”
The BBC said Childline’s statistics for the past year showed that 72% of the calls handled were from girls and 13,456 sessions were about anxiety issues. Figures showed that more than 2,000 contacts were with young people who had already taken steps to end their lives, such as writing a note, giving meaningful items away or even planning their death.
The BBC quoted a former Childline caller who said “To get to my school I had to cross a railway bridge and I would just stand there and think ‘I could just jump off’. It felt overwhelming and like I was alone. I just felt so, so low, I couldn’t see a way out.”
The girl, now 18, said she was self-harming when she was 11 and first thought about taking her own life when she was 13.
“I didn’t want to tell my parents because I thought they would be worried and disappointed or not understand.”
She said it was essential to speak to someone about your feelings and problems, adding that ‘talking to someone who’s not in the problem, who you know is not going to judge you or worry – because my main problem was ‘I don’t want my parents to worry, there’s so much stress’ – and just knowing that you’re not alone and that it’s not your fault’ was helpful.
The National Council for Hypnotherapy has than 1,800 qualified therapists across the UK who will listen and treat people who see them about anxiety-related issues and the national body adds the can ‘assess your anxiety, identifying the root of stress or anxiety whether it is a situation, a physical issue, a past experience or a relationship’.
“After sessions with a hypnotherapist you may feel more confident; more relaxed in situations that have previously challenged you. Many people say that they are calmer and that they have more clarity of thought – able to make decisions more easily.
“People who have experienced side effects of anxiety such as insomnia, find that they are sleeping much better and as a result are able to work more effectively.”
Helping with mental health issues like stress, anxiety, lack of confidence or self-esteem is something which clinical hypnotherapy can do effectively and the need for help seems stronger now than before.
New data from the NSPCC shows one in six Childline counselling sessions is now about serious mental health issues. Those aged 12 to 15 made up a third of sessions, with girls almost seven times more likely to seek help than boys.
For clinical hypnotherapy help, contact a therapist from the NCH near you by clicking here to access their directory.