| 4°C Belfast

More NI kids seeking help for anxiety

There has been a surge of young people in Northern Ireland seeking help in dealing with anxiety, a helpline has said.

The revelation comes in Childline's annual review, The Courage To Talk, highlighting the work of the NSPCC-supported service.

At Childline's Northern Ireland bases, Belfast and Foyle, 2,267 sessions were recorded in 2017/18, compared to 1,395 the year before and 1,221 in 2015/16.

Children contacting Childline from Northern Ireland received 378 counselling sessions for anxiety in 2017/18, up from 258 in 2016/17 and 209 the year before.

Neil Anderson, head of NSPCC Northern Ireland, said anxiety can be a "crippling illness".

"It is deeply worrying the number of counselling sessions we are delivering for this issue is rising so quickly," he said.

"Increasingly Childline is filling the gap left by our public mental health services, providing young people with a place they can go for round the clock help and advice."

Belfast Telegraph