General News Technology — 01 October 2013
Big jump in WA kids seeking mental health help from Kids Helpline

Mental health issues are increasingly worrying WA children, new figures by the Kids Helpline reveal.

Last year, the charity gave counselling sessions to 1469 to WA young people concerned about mental health, a 45 per cent rise in the number making contact for the same concerns in 2011. bigstock-Beautiful-Sad-Teenage-Girl-302250

The 2012 state-by-state reports have been released by Kids Helpline to coincide with a launch last night at the Nickelodeon Slimefest  event of a new fundraiser for the service.

The WA report  found not only were more young people concerned about mental health, they tended to make contact with Kids Helpline over issues of child abuse, dating and partner relationships, loss and grief and homelessness more than other parts of Australia.

Australia-wide, people aged five to 25 were more likely to be concerned with family relationships, physical and mental health concerns.

Almost six per cent of WA children and young people seeking help were concerned about bullying and 5.4 per cent were worried about self-image and self-esteem.

More than 14 per cent had emotional wellbeing fears.

Overall, the Kids Helpline saw a 25 per cent increase in phone and online interactions in 2012 compared to 2011, totalling an extra 17 counselling sessions per week.

To aid the ongoing work of Kids Helpline, subscription television channel Nickelodeon has joined forces with pop star Guy Sebastian to raise money for the service.

Last night at Slimefest, Sebastian debuted his new single Dare to be Square, the same title as Nickelodeon’s anti-bullying campaign launched in 2012.

All iTunes sales of Sebastian’s Dare to be Square will go to Kids Helpline.

The charity’s general manager Wendy Protheroe said the project was a natural fit and would make a difference for Australian children.

“Each week we respond to 5500 calls for help ranging from relationship breakdowns and bullying, to sexual abuse, homelessness, suicidal thoughts and drug and alcohol abuse, with 30 per cent of calls currently going unanswered,” Ms Protheroe said.

The support and awareness raised from the Dare to be Square campaign will make a real difference to kids across Australia.”

This article first appeared on The Herald Sun on 1 October, 2013.

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