‘Depressed’ youngsters seeking help

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Schools are being asked to do more for depressed and troubled pupils because 1,500 county youngsters are going online for counselling.

The call came from councillors who heard numbers of teenagers contacting a confidential website are rising and family relationships, anxiety, bullying and self-harm are among top problems reported.

But county councillor Nick Worth, who represents Holbeach, is pleased children are using online help, via Kooth, because it gives them somewhere to take their troubles when they may not feel able to say anything elsewhere.

He is a member of the county council’s children and young people scrutiny committee and one of its members described the number of troubles reported online as a “minor epidemic”.

Coun Worth said: “I think the important thing is that children are using this online site.”

He said young people are so used to the Internet that they probably feel “it is a more secure way” of reporting what’s happening to them.

Sir John Gleed School in Spalding has fully trained care, support and guidance managers for each year group and headteacher Janet Daniels said the school is there to support pupils in times of trouble.

Mrs Daniels said: “I think being a teenager these days is very stressful.”

She said young people worry about unemployment, what the future holds, having to get higher and higher qualifications as well as pressures like social networking, which can lead to cyber-bullying.

Mrs Daniels said the school has a tough stance on cyber-bullying and is always ready to listen to students’ problems and work with outside agencies to get expert help.

l Young people can get online counselling and help – such as booked one to one chats – on www.kooth.com