Childline counsellors support young people through the toughest of times. They are a group of staff and volunteers from diverse age groups and cultural backgrounds, who give young people a voice when no one else is listening. Staff counsellor, Sarah, told us how important their work can be for those struggling with their mental health:
‘Some young people come to us about self-harm, anxiety and depression. So just being able to sound off means the world to them, because they don't have anyone else in their lives that they feel able to do that to.’
Sarah remembers one such call from an eleven-year-old boy who had stopped going to school. He just couldn’t bear to walk through the school gates because of his emotional state. He’d cry in class, then become angry and feel overwhelmed with guilt. Things had become so difficult that the boy had taken an overdose to try and end his life. He then disclosed to Sarah that his mother had recently died:
‘The priority for me was about breaking down this guilt he was carrying. I explained we're not really allowed to make promises at Childline, but I could promise him that his mother's death was not his fault. I felt like he sounded a lot lighter, almost relieved towards the end of the call.’
Sarah knows from experience that Childline can be life-changing for young people. It gives them the opportunity to work through trauma and to begin working towards a brighter future:
‘I always look at young people and worry whether an incident like this will determine who they are for the rest of their lives, and it's always my passion to tell them that this doesn't have to dictate who you are.’
Childline counsellors like Sarah want to be there to answer every call from children facing trauma. But that’s only possible with your support. One way you can help is by entering the Omaze Million Pound House Draw, Devon. Because we’ll be donating 80% of the net proceeds to this incredible charity. Plus, you’ll get the chance to win a coastal home worth over £3,000,000.