Coronavirus: More children calling Childline about concerns

Last updated at 08:58
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There has been a big increase in the number of children getting help from the Childline charity because of concerns about the coronavirus.

Since 21 January, Childline said it had delivered more than 300 counselling sessions to children and young people who had concerns about the virus, which causes an illness called Covid-19.

It said 145 - nearly half of the total calls - had been made in the last week, between 9 and 15 March.

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The spike comes at a time when the virus has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO), who are responsible for looking after the health and wellbeing of people around the world.

Childline said most of the calls -125 - came from 12-15 year olds, while 86 came from older children aged between 16 and 18.

"It is our priority to let children and young people know we are here for them."

Childline

The charity said the majority of their conversations had been with children where they has been a concern about their mental and emotional health.

On average, Childline normally delivers between 20,000 and 25,000 counselling session per month.

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WATCH: Psychologist Laverne Antrobus has some advice if you're worried about the coronavirus

Common issues discussed by young people include being scared about catching the coronavirus, worries about becoming seriously ill and being bullied because of their race or ethnicity.

Childline told us: "The 24/7 news about coronavirus and daily routines being disrupted will cause worry and anxiety in young people - particularly those who are already coping with many other issues in their lives.

"That's why it is our priority to let children and young people know we are here for them."

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Advice if you're upset by the news

If you are worried about feeling lonely, there is lots of support out there for you to get help.

Speak to an adult you trust, like a parent, guardian or a teacher.

You can also contact Childline on 0800 1111 for free at any time.

Childline is run by the NSPCC.