herald

Thursday 23 October 2014

Christmas Day saw 1,212 calls for help to Childline

MORE than 1,000 calls were made to a helpline for distressed children on Christmas Day.

Many of the calls to Childline were from youngsters struggling to cope with family problems, loneliness and mental health issues, the ISPCC said.

Throughout the day volunteers dealt with 1,212 calls, texts, and messages.

Margie Roe, national manager of the ISPCC's Childline service, said children made contact with them for a number of reasons.

"In some cases these children and young people feel they can't talk to family and are not sure who to turn to," she said.

The ISPCC said while most children have fun and spend time with family over Christmas, many others face untold difficulties at home.

Stress, trauma and alcohol abuse during the season can exacerbate problems.

Earlier this year, the ISPCC published a survey of 14,000 children, which showed family life had the most impact on their emotional wellbeing.

Some 15pc said they could not really talk to their family.







Difficult

"The findings of our consultation indicated that those who say that they have family around when they need them and can count on their friends also report feeling less nervous, afraid and sad than young people who say that they do not have these supports in place," said Ms Roe.

"So it us up to us adults to reach out to young people and give the message that we care.

"It can be hard sometimes in family life to talk about difficult issues but it is so important that young people know that they have someone to turn to."

hnews@herald.ie

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