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Rise in calls to Childline about in-patient mental health treatment

Date:19 FEB 2024
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The number of young people contacting Childline about in-patient mental health concerns has jumped by almost a fifth in the last year.

According to Childline: "We delivered 621 counselling sessions1 in 2023 where being sectioned or hospitalised for mental health issues was discussed. This was up 18% on the previous year.

The new Helplines Insight Briefing looks at young people’s experiences of in-patient mental health care based on contacts to Childline and the NSPCC Helpline.

It reveals that young people often feel they’re not listened to during their admissions, treatment and discharge from hospital settings, including when important decisions are made about their care.

Services like Childline provide children with a safe place to be themselves and seek free and confidential support. This helps them manage their emotional challenges and feel connected. The voices of young people are an integral and powerful part of our briefing."

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Vicky Nevin, Policy Manager at the NSPCC said: “Mental health is the number one reason children and young people contact Childline. Some need a listening ear and access to early mental health support while others are already receiving treatment but feel ignored when decisions are being made about their care.

Preventative mental health support should be available for every baby, child and young person. But there will always be some who need more specialist care in a hospital, and they should be treated with compassion and respect. They should understand what is happening to them and be given a say in what will help.

“We need ambitious commitments from party leaders to improve mental health support for children and to put their voices at the heart of policy making.”

You can read the briefing here.