Statistics from Childline show a dramatic increase of 15% from the pervious year, equivalent to 60 children a day calling the children’s help service. However, on the positive side, the figures do show that young people are willing to seek help.
Childline’s research also shows that a large number of calls were ‘actively suicidal’, meaning that the young person thought and actually planned their death. Shockingly the youngest child who was actively suicidal was only 12.
Between 2016-17 Childline had up to 22,456 counselling sessions about suicide and 2,061 out of the total were considered to be actively suicidal.
What I think
I believe that there are many other young people who are suffering silently. We need to encourage them to open up to prove that there are alternatives.
A female student I know, aged 17, attends school every day with suicidal thoughts, which has led her to severe depression and anxiety. She struggles with the pressure of achieving high grades.
“I know what is expected of me in school, but sometimes I just can’t keep up. It’s painful and I find myself always ‘over the edge’. The pressure from the school doesn’t help either; the fear of not meeting their expectation, the fear of getting kicked out if my grades are bad. I don’t know what to do.”
Her friends encourage and support her at school, but she finds that whenever they are not there she feels lonely and the thoughts will flow back to her.
“Even with my friends it was hard to open up to them, let alone my school. I was scared to disappoint them.”
Eventually, she could not take any more and decided to seek help. She is currently attending counselling sessions and taking medication. The school was also informed about her condition and are supporting her in her studies.
If you have any concerns talk to someone you trust for support or contact Childline.
Exposure is an award-winning youth communications charity giving young people in north London a voice. Please support us to continue our work. Thank you.