Childline first-hand stories to be used in funds campaign

A new book containing first-hand accounts of the work of Childline counsellors is being used by the charity to make a case for greater government funding and recognition of its role in mental health services.

Can I Talk To You Again?, contains powerful case studies of children who have called Childline, from the first tentative steps to the end of the counselling period. The book includes cases of parental sexual abuse, bullying, self-harm, suicidal callers and bereavement.

The charity wants the Government to fund an extension of the service to guarantee a quick response to all callers.

The Scottish Executive has already given official recognition to Childline's role in mental health services, increasing statutory funding from 15 per cent to 30 per cent of Childline's income, compared with 10 per cent in England.

The book shows that the duration of sexual abuse before the victim calls Childline has fallen significantly since the charity launched in 1986. The percentage of children who waited five years or more fell from 28 per cent to 5 per cent, while those calling within a month of first being abused rose from 7 per cent to 49.

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