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Tubridy says online bullies can 'hunt down children like a pack of dogs'

Childline answered over 1,200 calls every day in 2014.

Image: Shutterstock/Concept Photo

OVER 300 CHILDREN who called Childline last year had already made plans to take their own lives before making the call.

Childline received 652,383 calls last year and were able to answer 462,505 of them, that’s over 1,200 per day.

Over 22,000 children contacted the organisation in 2014 in relation to mental health issues while over a thousand children contacted Childline in relation to suicide.

ISPCC CEO Grainia Long said, “While the vast majority of calls are not from children at urgent risk, we are extremely concerned about the level of risk that some children are under, when they call us.

In some instances, children have gone beyond threatening to take their own lives, and have acted on this.

“In those cases, we immediately work with the child to ensure their safety, and as a matter of priority seek to ensure contact with the authorities.”

Speaking at the Childline report event today, ambassador Ryan Tubridy said that cyber bullying means there is no escape for children:

They’ll hunt you down like a pack of dogs and that’s why we’re here today.

He described the Childline volunteers as,”Warriors on the front line in the war against cruelty.”

Director of Services, Caroline O’Sullivan, said the service wasn’t just for children who come from a disadvantages background. “It’s for children with a worry who can’t sleep at night.”

‘Under threat’

The ISPCC, which runs Childline, says children’s mental health remained a key feature of calls to Childline. Long added:

An increasing number of young people are choosing the online option to talk about their mental health.

The online service received 17,780 contacts last year.  Long said, “It was extended into night-time thanks to funding from the National Office for Suicide Prevention, and demand for these services remains high.”

At the end of last year Childline was under threat due to funding pressures. However, an emergency campaign generated over €1,000,000 in donations and a funding agreement was reached between the ISPCC and the Government.

The welfare charity has today launched a campaign to encourage regular supporters to #InvestInChildhood.

  • Childline can be reached free of charge, 24 hours a day at 1800 666 666
  • Childline’s free text service runs from 10am to 4am, text “talk” to 50101
  • Childline’s online chat service runs from 10am to 4am, accessible at www.childline.ie.

Read: Christmas Day at Childline: 1,208 calls and messages over just 24 hours>

Read: Could you be the first point of contact for a child who wants to talk?>

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