Childline annual review

Topics: Safeguarding and child protection

What children and young people have been talking to Childline about over the last year

Our Childline service gives children and young people a safe and confidential space to talk, be listened to and get support.

Our annual review explores what children and young people are telling Childline during counselling sessions. It looks at who is contacting Childline, why, when and how. It includes a closer look at some of the biggest issues of the year.

Key findings from the Childline annual review 2017/18: "The courage to talk" 

How many children and young people contacted Childline

  • In 2017/18, Childline provided over 278,000 counselling sessions to children and young people.
  • The Childline website received over 3.1 million web visits. 

What children and young people contacted Childline about

  • There were over 106,000 counselling sessions about mental and emotional health and wellbeing issues (including self-harm and suicidal thoughts or feelings).
  • There were almost 21,300 counselling sessions about anxiety.
  • There were over 24,500 counselling sessions about suicidal thoughts and feelings - the highest ever.
  • The top three concerns young people were counselled about were mental and emotional health; family relationships; and suicidal thoughts and feelings.
  • There were over 22,100 counselling sessions where a child or young person’s main concern was abuse (this includes sexual, physical, or emotional abuse and neglect). 


"My mum and dad are going through a separation at the moment and it’s the most depressing thing I could ever imagine. I have my GCSE’s next year too and everything is getting on top of me. I don’t know how to cope so I just panic. I feel so down."

Girl, 14

"I was wondering how you can become a Childline counsellor because when I’m older I want to be able to help young people like you helped me."

Boy, 12


NSPCC (2018) The courage to talk: Childline annual review 2017/18. London: NSPCC.

Previous reports

Previous Childline annual reviews

Childline annual review 2016/17: "Not alone anymore"

Looks at what children and young people are telling us about:, anxiety, suicidal thoughts and feelings and children and young people with special educational needs, disabilities or a health condition..

> Download Childline annual review 2016/17: "Not alone anymore" (PDF)

Childline annual review 2015/16: "It turned out someone did care"

Looks in detail at what children and young people are telling us about: mental health and wellbeing, sexuality and gender identity, and problems at school.

> Download Childline annual review 2015/16: It turned out someone did care (PDF)

Childline annual review 2014/15: "Always there when I need you"

Focuses on some of the biggest and emerging issues of the year: mental health, sexual abuse and partner abuse.

> Download Childline annual review 2014/15: Always there when I need you (PDF)

Childline annual review 2013/14: Under pressure

Includes a closer look at some of the key topics of the year: mental health conditions, eating disorders, online abuse, school and education problems.

> Download Childline annual review 2013/14: Under pressure (PDF)

Further information

> See also Childline: 30 years of listening to children on the NSPCC Library catalogue

> Find all previous editions of the Childline annual review in the NSPCC Library

If you need more specific information about Childline, please contact our Information Service.