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More children seeking help for suicidal thoughts

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More children who are thinking of suicide seeking support from charity

More children are seeing help for suicidal thoughts, a new report suggests.

Counselling service ChildLine, which is run by the NSPCC, said it had more than 34,000 consultations with children who talked about killing themselves in 2013/14,

The figure marks an increase of 116% since 2010/2011.

Most of the children seeking help were between 12 and 15.

The figures are contained in a report On the Edge - ChildLine spotlight: Suicide.

The first step is to make sure that young people have sufficient support around them

This year, more 15-year-olds were counselled than any other age group. Previously, the most prominent age was 17-year-olds.

There has also been an increase in counselling sessions for children aged 11 or younger - although they account for just 2% of all sessions.

One in three young people counselled about suicide also mentioned self-harm in 2013/14, an increase of 29% compared with 2012/2013.

Esther Rantzen, journalist and founder of ChildLine, said: "We must learn from what they are telling us, and persuade them not to feel fearful or ashamed to tell others of their feelings.

"The first step is to make sure that young people have sufficient support around them. And so our report offers a wealth of guidance to parents, carers and professionals on where to seek help and how to open up these critical conversations with young people."