Saturday 23 November 2019

More than 300 Irish young people planned suicide before calling Childline last year

Jason Kennedy

Support service Childline received 462,606 calls from young people in 2014, with more than 300 of those from children planning to take their own lives.

The helpline received more that 1,200 calls a day, while the online service amassed 17,820 contacts in total.

These figures were revealed during the Childline Report this afternoon, where ISPCC CEO Grainia Long said over 22,000 children contacted the organisation regarding mental health issues.

"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," she said.

"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.’

During the launch, a number of Childline ambassadors were also honoured for their hard work. These included Broadcaster Ryan Tubridy, Senator Jillian Van Turnhout, Actress Saoirse Ronan and former Childline user Kate Brennan Harding.

During his speech, RTE television and radio presenter Tubridy talked about cyberbullying and the "lawlessness" of the Internet.

"I hate that [the Internet] is like the wild west - There's no sheriff. Everyone is exposed," he said.

"There is help. There is help with the ISPCC and work people do with it."

Childline can be contact free of charge by calling 1800 666 666. There is also a text service available from 10am to 4am, by texting “talk” to 50101.

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