THE number of children who contacted ChildLine for help from Yorkshire and the North East has nearly trebled over the last year – but the huge rise is due to its new online service.
In the last 12 months between the Yorkshire and the North East ChildLine base in Leeds counselled 1,573 children about depression, self harm and suicide.
This compared to 598 children who received counselling from the helpline last year with the same issues.
It is believed ChildLine’s new online service has led to the increase with 1,020 contacts coming via the web.
In the first full year that the online service has been available, contact has tripled across the country with 30,000 enquiries this year compared to 10,000 between 2009 and 2010.
Yorkshire and the Humberside ChildLine area manager Christine Mellor said: “Most children who contact us online are deeply troubled.
“It’s not yet clear if more children are suffering mental health problems or if they simply find it easier to discuss them online.
“In many cases they will be struggling to cope with inner feelings they can’t control or understand.
“Others tell counsellors how they hurt themselves in an attempt to alleviate their pain. Sadly, for some, those feelings become so overwhelming they see no other option but to give up on life.
“By developing our online service we can reach out to more of these very troubled children who are struggling to cope with complex problems that are blighting their lives, and may not have contacted us without this new service.