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Childline getting calls from suicidal kids

Tuesday 21st April 2015 - Deborah Condon , http://www.irishhealth.com/ View Article Here

More than 300 children who were at urgent risk of suicide called Childline last year, the ISPCC has revealed.

The children's charity, which runs the Childline service, said that over 1,000 children made contact last year about issues relating to suicide and of these, over 300 ‘had already acted on or made plans to take their own lives in advance of making the call'.

‘Childline is a 24-hour service that is there for all children. While the vast majority of calls are not from children at urgent risk, we are extremely concerned about the level of risk that some children are under when they call us.

"In some instances, children have gone beyond threatening to take their own lives, and have acted on this. In those cases, we immediately work with the child to ensure their safety, and as a matter of priority seek to ensure contact with the authorities," explained ISPCC chief executive, Grainia Long.

The ISPCC also noted that in 2014, while the mental health of children was a ‘key feature' of calls to Childline, an increasing number of children were going online to discuss their mental health.

"Our online service was extended into night-time thanks to funding from the National Office for Suicide Prevention, and demand for these services remains high," Ms Long noted.

Meanwhile the ISPCC also acknowledged the generosity of people after a recent emergency campaign to raise funds managed to generate over €1,000,000 in public and corporate donations, as well as a contribution from the Department of Children and Youth Affairs.

The campaign was launched in late 2014 when it became apparent that the Childline service would have to close if funds were not urgently raised.

In an effort to ensure that the service is further funded into the future, the ISPCC is launching a campaign to encourage people to become regular donors to Childline. For more, see here

For more information on Childline, click here

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