Kids Helpline, Australia’s only 24/7 national counselling and support service for children and young people, released Kids Helpline Overview 2013, a summary of the key issues affecting young people in Australia last year.
The report found Kids Helpline received over 700,000 direct contacts and self-directed help seeking website enquiries mostly from young people aged between 5 and 25 years last year, an increase of nine per cent from 645,219 in 2012.
The top five issues (in order) among children and young people last year were mental health concerns, family relationships, emotional wellbeing, suicide-related concerns and dating and partner relationships.
Kids Helpline CEO Tracy Adams said the demand for ongoing counselling support for children and young people continues to increase, as counsellors help them deal with severe, complex and often long-standing issues.
‘Forty-three per cent of children and young people who received counselling from the service last year were experiencing suicidality, deliberate self-injury and mental health concerns,’ she said.
An estimated 156,000 telephone calls, emails and web contacts went unanswered in 2013.
‘We encourage children and young people to keep trying to contact us if they can’t get through, it is vitally important that they do, counsellors are available every hour of the day,’ Ms Adams said.
‘We are providing an increasing number of counselling sessions to children and young people reaching out to the service seeking to deal with very significant issues and we do worry about that.’
Kids Helpline 24/7 telephone counselling is available on 1800 55 1800.