“I was self-harming and suicidal. Then I called Kids Helpline. They were always supportive and helped me to get through. Today I can smile simply because I’m alive and I made it. Don’t lose hope. It gets better,”- 15year old girl.
The nation’s only 24 hour counselling and support service for children and young people released Kids Helpline (KHL) Insights 2014 - Insights into Australian Young People, flagging mental health as a major concern for our country’s youth.
The KHL Insights report reveals the top five issues children and young people contacted Kids Helpline about last year were; mental health concerns, family relationships, emotional wellbeing, suicide-related concerns and dating and partner relationships.
The number of young people seeking help online is on the rise. Kids Helpline Insights 2014 also revealed that the number of kids seeking out self-help information is sky rocketing with more than 2,700,000 page views and the website’s ‘Hot Topics’ seeing a staggering 98% increase in page views from 2012.
CEO Tracy Adams said Kids Helpline was committed to meeting the rising demand for both ongoing counselling support and the provision of relevant and up to date information for children and young people.
“This report shows that significant numbers of young people are continuing to seek help from Kids Helpline for issues including mental health, suicide and self-harm. We believe this is because Kids Helpline is known and trusted by the young people who seek us out, supported by our increased presence in schools across the country.”
“It is also imperative to understand that kids are not just small adults, the factors that contribute to the incidence of mental health, suicide and self-harm amongst the youth population and the impacts of these issues can be significantly different to that of adults.”
National Children’s Commissioner Megan Mitchell said the report was essential in understanding the support required for the needs of Australian children and youth in distress.
“Being genuinely heard is fundamentally empowering and safeguarding for children. This original data was critical to my examination of self-harm and suicide among children and young people, and highlighted the invaluable support Kids Helpline provides in this space.”
Kids Helpline is a service of BoysTown; its $10.3 million operation is only possible due to the generosity of donors, Art Union and corporate supporters, providing 70 per cent of the funding for this vital service.
Kids Helpline is Australia’s only national 24/7 counselling and support service specifically for children and young people aged 5 to 25 years – free call 1800 55 1800 or online at www.kidshelp.com.au
Donations to Kids Helpline can be made at www.kidshelp.com.au/donate/