Over 300 Irish children made calls to Childline threatening suicide. – TheLiberal.ie – Our News, Your Views

Over 300 Irish children made calls to Childline threatening suicide.



The Irish Prevention of Cruelty to Children have said that over 300 children called Childline in 2014 at urgent risk of committing suicide.

ISPCC CEO Gráinne Long said: “In 2014 just over 300 children called us at urgent risk and urgent risk is essentially the highest level of need”.

The ISPCC said these 300 children had already planned to take their own lives before they made the phone call.

Childline received 652,383 calls last year and were able to answer 462,505 which is over 1,200 calls per day. 8,000 calls last year were in relation to physical abuse and 9,000 calls were in relation to sexual abuse.

Gráinne Long spoke to Sean O’Rourke on RTÉ’s Today saying that 20,000 children had called Childline last year in relation to mental health issues.

Long said: “We are seeing a picture of children who are quite worried and we are quite worried about their mental health”. “In some cases children have gone beyond threatening to take their own lives and have acted on this”.

Ms Long said Childlines trained counsellors often succeeded in obtaining the callers identity and location which enables the counsellors to get help.

Childline is currently receiving almost half a million calls between telephone and on line services.

Long said that at present the only round the clock service available to Childline is the Garda Síochána but more is needed.

Ms Long called for better resourcing of public health services so that social working services can be contacted on a 24 hour basis for in crisis situations.

Ambassador Ryan Tubridy spoke about cyber bullying saying “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 at the front line in the war against cruelty”.

After funding from The National Office for Suicide Prevention, Chlidline was able to extend its services and its on line opening hours now operate from 10 am to 4 am the following morning in every 24-hour cycle.

Childline has also set up a designated live text support service for children and teenagers who may be feeling overwhelmed or suicidal.

To contact Childline (free of charge) call 1800 666 666 or text Talk to 50101.

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