Almost half a million worried children are not asking anyone for help

Almost 500,000 British children are worried about their feelings but haven’t asked their parents, siblings or teachers for help, poll reveals

  • The Children’s Society surveyed 2,300 youngsters aged between 10 and 17 
  • Results revealed that 58 per cent had spoken to someone about their fears 
  • However, eight per cent of the children admitted they had not asked for help
  • Charity said this equates to 464,000 children in England, Wales and Scotland

Half a million children are worried about their feelings but have not asked anyone for help, a charity has warned.

The Children’s Society surveyed 2,300 youngsters aged between 10 and 17. Results showed 58 per cent had spoken of their fears.

However, eight per cent of the children admitted they had not asked their parents, siblings, friends and teachers for any help.

Using official figures, the charity estimated this equates to roughly 464,000 children in England, Wales and Scotland.

The Children’s Society surveyed 2,300 youngsters aged between 10 and 17. Results showed 58 per cent had spoken of their fears. However, eight per cent of the children admitted they had not asked their parents, siblings, friends and teachers for any help

Mark Russell, its chief executive, branded the figures a ‘travesty’ and warned it is vital children get help early on to stop issues spiralling.

He said: ‘The voices of children matter and if any child is having worries about their feelings or behaviour they should not have to suffer in silence.

‘It’s a travesty that such vast numbers of children who clearly need help are not telling anyone at all.

‘We know that despite progress to break down stigma it is still a major barrier for young people.

WHAT ARE THE SIGNS YOUR CHILD MAY BE DEPRESSED? 

  • Prolonged sadness
  • Irritability
  • Lack of interest in things they used to enjoy
  • Fatigue and exhaustion
  • Insomnia or sleeping too much
  • Poor concentration
  • Indecisiveness
  • Lack of confidence
  • Eating too much or too little
  • Inability to relax
  • Feeling guilty or worthless
  • Numb to emotions
  • Thoughts about suicide or self harming
  • Self harming

‘There could also be many other reasons that children aren’t seeking help due to practical issues like nowhere they can go locally or no transport.’

The poll found of those who asked for help, 77 per cent said they had spoken to close family such as siblings or parents.

This was followed by 38 per cent who were helped by friends and 36 per cent who were supported by an adult at school, such as a teacher.

The data also showed that a small number of children were turning to the police and fire services for help.

One 17-year-old participant, who wasn’t named, told The Children’s Society that they never asked for help and later self-harmed.

The national charity said it believed a ‘fear of stigma and judgment’ was one of the main reasons that young people weren’t turning to loved ones for help.

It also warned that a lack of knowledge about both mental health and the support services available could be playing a role.

For confidential support call the Samaritans on 116123 or visit a local Samaritans branch, see www.samaritans.org for details.

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