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0800WHATSUP data reveals children’s concerns

Out of the mouths of children – 0800WHATSUP data reveals children’s concerns

Problems with friends and peers, bullying, problems at home, loneliness, coping at school, health, self-esteem, relationship breakups, abuse and harassment – these are some of the concerns children talk about when they call 0800WHATSUP.

Last year 122,681 calls were answered by telephone counsellors at 0800WHATSUP. Concerns about friends and peers continued to be the major reason children and young people called 0800WHATSUP (one in five calls), with bullying a close second.

Although the identities of the callers remain anonymous and personal details confidential, their ages, gender, reasons for calling and other non-identifying information about their lives and circumstances are documented in the telephone counselling service’s extensive database.

We’re talking about information from hundreds of thousands of calls answered since 0800WHATSUP was launched six and a half years ago,” said Grant Taylor, Executive Director of 0800WHATSUP, the free telephone counselling service for five to 18 year olds.

“What our data reveals is the breadth of concerns the children who call the freephone face,” said Grant. “It also reflects the willingness of children and young people to seek help, advice and support in dealing with their concerns.”

“Our telephone counsellors provide support for callers, give advice but more significantly help them build on their strengths and learn techniques to help them resolve the issues they face now and may face in the future.”

They are also trained to handle crisis calls when the need arises. Last year, 56 crisis calls resulted in the immediate involvement of an appropriate service to ensure the safety of the caller and others.

Grant says “the 0800WHATSUP database is proving an invaluable resource for decision makers, agencies and individuals wanting to make a positive difference in the lives of our young.”


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