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Childline received 2,300 calls a day last year

The service for children and young people says a referendum on children’s rights is essential. It’s calling an increase of 20,000 calls in 2010 ‘startling’.

Childline is launching its 'I Can't Wait Until I Grow Up' campaign
Childline is launching its 'I Can't Wait Until I Grow Up' campaign
Image: Childline

CHILDLINE SAYS GIVING a voice to the children of Ireland is essential, following the publication of its latest annual statistics.

The service received more than 830,000 calls in 2010, an increase of 20,000 on the previous year. The number represents almost 2,300 calls a day from children and young people.

Margie Roe, Childline’s National Director told TheJournal.ie that some of the most startling figures are those related to mental health. She says that 15 per cent of conversations held with children and young people via the online one-on-one service are about feeling low or depressesed, and thoughts of self-harm and suicide. Roe says:

For me it shows that we made the right decision to engage with children in mediums they feel comfortable with. It’s reflective of what’s happening in Ireland today with families under pressure.

Roe says that the service works like MSN Messenger, and that in 2010 Childline volunteers had 6891 conversations, an increase of 2680 on 2009 figures. The text service saw a rise from 13,666 to 18,375 between 2009 and 2010.

Roe says that Childline received an alarming number of abuse and welfare calls in 2010 – over 10,000. She says that this highlights the fact that children don’t have the same rights as adults, and is calling once again for a referendum on the issue.

Childline is launching its summer campaign ‘I Can’t Wait Until I Grow Up’ to coincide with the release of these figures. A new video to accompany the campaign highlights the plight of children who suffer from physical violence.

Please note: the video contains graphic images which some readers may find upsetting.

Contact Childline by calling 1800 666 666, texting ‘Talk’ to 50101, or by visiting Childline.ie

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About the author:

Emer McLysaght

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