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Child depression warning

April 2007

ChildLine, the telephone support network for children who need help, has warned the Government that more needs to be done to diagnose and assist children suffering from depression.

The charity claims that last year one in six calls relating to mental heath, to a 24-hour helpline, came from girls contemplating suicide. Some rang ChildLine while attempting to kill themselves; others had tried to take their own life, and were thinking of doing so again.

An analysis of calls received by the organisation revealed that more than 6000 children and young people – some as young as five – called it about mental health problems. Problems included depression, eating disorders, bullying and sexual abuse.

Of calls received about suicide (1265), nearly four out of five came from girls. Research suggests rates of depression and anxiety have increased among adolescents in the UK by 70% in the last 25 years.

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