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What’s Up Children’s Help Line Calls Top 100,000

Grant Taylor
The Kids Help Foundation Trust

Calls To What’s Up Children’s Help Line Top 100,000

The What’s Up telephone counselling service for children and young people has answered its 100,000th call and is on target to have answered 114,000 calls by the time it marks its first year of operations on September 21.

This exceeds the initial first year target of 90,000, says the service’s Executive Director Grant Taylor.

What’s Up receives calls from children and young people all over New Zealand. Almost half the calls received concern relationship issues with peers, family or partners. Another quarter are about school-related problems, particularly bullying.

The service aims to intervene early in children’s lives and develop their abilities to solve problems, preventing the likelihood of serious crises arising later.

“Our aim is to make it easy for children and young people to access professional counselling services. We are delighted with our success in achieving this. Clearly there is a high demand for the kind of service we are offering,” says Mr Taylor.

“We are currently receiving 592 calls per day on average.

“About 75% of our calls now are from people who have contacted us previously, which I think is an endorsement of the help we are offering to our callers. Unfortunately, present resources mean that we can only answer about half of the calls we receive.”

He said consistent with the What’s Up model of professionalism, counsellors are paid for their work and so answering more calls is dependent on the service being able to expand its funding.

“Currently we receive funding from our four major sponsors and obtain some grants from philanthropic trusts. We would be pleased to receive donations from the public as the quality and value of our work for New Zealand’s children and young people is recognised,” said Mr Taylor.

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