Last year ChildLine provided nearly 290,000 counselling sessions to children and young people
Almost 100 children call ChildLine every week suffering from mental health problems as a result of being abused.
The charity, operated by NSPCC, revealed the figure in its annual review which highlighted that it receives a call from a child with mental health problems every six minutes.
Last year it provided nearly 290,000 counselling sessions to children and young people.
In those, 85,000 young people spoke about mental health-related issues – including 5,000 who sought help for mental, physical or sexual abuse.
Overall there were 29,126 counselling sessions about abuse – with over 11,000 of those reporting the abuse had been sexual.
We risk failing a generation of children if we leave them without the vital support they need to recover
Resulting problems ranged from children and young people suffering from unhappiness, suicidal thoughts, low self-esteem and diagnosed mental health disorders like bipolar.
Worryingly the Always there when I need you review, reported many of ChildLine's 1,400 trained volunteers had heard from young that they felt they had been left to deal with these problems alone.
A staggering four out of five expressed concerns about how to access support services relating to mental health and wellbeing with reports of experiencing lengthy waiting times, lack of out-of-hours support, service closures and an absence of information – often leaving them feeling anxious, frightened and overwhelmed.
Peter Wanless, NSPCC chief executive, called for the stats to act as a wake-up call saying more needs to be done or we risk failing a generation.
“Thousands of vulnerable children – many of whom have been abused – are silently coping with serious issues that leave them racked with worry when instead they should be getting help to rebuild their childhoods,” he said.
“We risk failing a generation of children if we leave them without the vital support they need to recover.”
ChildLine founder Esther Rantzen added: “Many of today’s children feel utterly miserable – for some, they feel that life is not worth living.
“We need more help and support for young people.
“We must give them a chance to tell us what is in their hearts.”