Almost 3,000 Childline sessions were held in Scotland for youngsters who are struggling to cope
Thousands of children and teenagers are struggling to get help as they battle anxiety.
The amount of youngsters contacting Childline to discuss anxiety issues has risen by 59% over the last two years.
The rise has prompted the helpline’s operators the NSPCC to stress the importance of supporting children who are struggling to cope.
Peter Wanless, chief executive of the NSPCC said: “Anxiety is a growing problem in young people’s lives today, and it is not going away. We all need to help children and teenagers find ways to cope with their anxious feelings and not dismiss them as an overreaction.
“One of the most important ways to help those that are struggling is to make sure they know they always have someone to talk to and they never have to suffer alone, which is why Childline is so vital.”
The charity delivered 13,746 counselling sessions – equivalent to 38 a day – to young people across the UK who suffered with anxiety. Of these, a combined 2,919 sessions were delivered by local staff and volunteers at the charity’s two Scottish Childline bases in Aberdeen and Glasgow.
In the past two years more than 1,300 children from Scotland have contacted Childline to seek help for anxiety – rising from 651 in 2015-16 to 715 last year. Hundreds of children who contact Childline do not reveal where they are from, so the true number of young people from Scotland counselled over anxiety is likely to be higher.
Thousands of youngsters talked about having panic attacks which made them feel trapped, faint and left them struggling to breathe.
A 17-year-old girl told Childline: “I suffer with anxiety and panic attacks and find it difficult to leave the house. I was referred to CAMHS but I was on a waiting list for eight months and during that time my anxiety got worse so I never went because I was too scared.
“Every day feels impossible and so difficult and I know I need help but the thought of having to sit there and talk openly, having to re-visit old memories and thoughts with a stranger terrifies me.”
Children and young people can contact Childline for free, confidential support and advice, 24 hours a day on 0800 1111 or on the Childine website.