Children’s charity ChildLine has reported sharp rises in the number of children reporting self-harm and suicidal thoughts when they phone the organisation.
The number of girls who mention self-harm when contacting the charity jumped from 470 in 2011-12 to no less than 700 in 2012-13.
Meanwhile, the number of children reporting suicidal thoughts rose by one third in the year to 2013. The charity received 4,500 calls from children aged between 12 and 15 discussing suicide.
The figures appear in recently published report Can I Tell You Something?.
ChildLine founder Esther Rantzen said: ‘This Report is a real wake-up call. Far too many of the nation’s children seem to be struggling and in despair. It’s so important that we support children to talk about issues and look out for signs that they’re not able to cope. No matter how hard pressed we are, we must commit to giving children time and space to talk about their lives.”
Peter Wanless is CEO of the NSPCC. He said of the report: “The issues facing children today are very different from those that faced us as children. Stranger danger, for example, rarely comes up in contacts to ChildLine but depression, self-harm, online bullying and even suicide contacts are increasing exponentially.”