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Coronavirus leads to surge in calls to Childline

Childline has reported a huge spike in calls from vulnerable children concerned about the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic.

The Charity has announced that it has delivered more than 900 counselling sessions to children feeling anxious and unsupported amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Almost two thirds (597) of the sessions took place between March 16 and March 22, as more people were told to work from home and school closures were announced. Of these, more than 50 conversations were with children having suicidal thoughts exacerbated by the airborne virus.

More than half of the children who received sessions said they were worried about their mental health as they faced isolation, arguments at home and the removal of support from school.

Childline founder Dame Esther Rantzen said: ‘We are hearing from children who have been cut off from vital support networks such as school, and friends, and that has increased their feelings of loneliness and vulnerability. They may have pre-existing mental health issues which are exacerbated by the current crisis.’

A Government spokeswoman said ‘We know that young people may be worried in what is an unprecedented situation and we are acting across Government and working with the NHS and Public Health England to ensure support is there for the young people that need it’.