One child every six minutes speaks to Childline about mental health issues

News emerged this week that Childline received a call every six minutes last year from a  young person worried about mental health issues.

The figures, published in the service's annual review, showed almost 100 children suffering from mental health problems caused by abuse contacted the helpline every week last year.

The free 24-hour service, provided by the NSPCC, undertook 85,000 counselling sessions in 2014 to 2015 - one every six minutes - for troubled youngsters. More than 5,000 of those had also sought help for physical or sexual abuse and one in 10 calls to the confidential service was about abuse.

The service said "disturbingly" many children felt that they had been left to fend for themselves, saying the number of children unable to get help had doubled.

The review, Always there when I need you, reported that there had been a 124 per cent increase in the number of counselling sessions where young people talked about problems accessing services since the previous year.

The NSPCC said the lack of mental health services for children coupled with the fact many waited until "crisis point" before discussing their concerns, could pave the way for long-term mental health problems.

Peter Wanless, NSPCC chief executive, said: "Thousands of vulnerable children - many of whom have been abused - are silently coping with serious issues that leave them racked with worry when instead they should be getting help to rebuild their childhoods."