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16 March 2017

New Childline App First To Offer Counselling Via Smartphones

The NSPCC’s Childline is today launching an app that is the first to provide counselling to young people in need of help directly through their smartphone in the UK and Channel Islands.

‘For Me’ was invented by four teenagers who wanted to make technology benefit the community and realised there was an urgent need for young people to have easy access to confidential advice and support. The app is now available as a free download with users being able to interact with all of Childline’s online services.

These include 1-2-1 chat with a counsellor, the ‘Ask Sam’ problem pages and entrance to their private ‘locker’ – an area where they have their own daily mood tracker and can write down personal thoughts.When Childline first launched 30 years ago all contact was over the phone, with many calls being made from telephone boxes.

Now 71% of counselling sessions are delivered online via email and 1-2-1 chat*, with the majority of the remaining counselling sessions being conducted with a young person via their mobile phone.
Last year, 1.8 million sessions on the Childline website were conducted via mobile devices.

In 2015/16, Childline carried out 4,896** counselling sessions with children contacting them from Northern Ireland - more than half (58%) of them aged 12-15. These included 318** counselling sessions with children contacting the service from about all forms of bullying, which included online bullying.

The app has been named ‘For Me’ to ensure that it can be discreetly installed on mobile devices, meaning that if someone happens to see the phone they can’t tell that it’s a Childline service.
It is now available from the iOS app store with an Android version due to be released in the coming weeks.

The app was developed in partnership with Barclays who funded the production and brought on board a team of young apprentices to work on its creation.

Neil Anderson, Head of NSPCC Northern Ireland, said: “Launching the ‘For Me’ app shows how we’re continuing to capitalise on new technology to give children and young people the easiest possible access to Childline’s free and confidential advice and support. Its development will enable our younger generation to tap directly into Childline’s expanding range of services through their mobile phone whenever and wherever they need our help.”

Childline founder Dame Esther Rantzen added: “We know hundreds of thousands of young people use our website for help and support, with more than half of those visits coming via mobile devices. Now young people can get immediate access to our counsellors through this brilliant, innovative app. Every young person will at last be able to tell Childline ‘This app is really what I needed. This is ‘For Me’.”

Childline is available for young people online, on the phone, anytime. Aside from the band new app, young people can ring Childline on 0800 1111 or visit for help and support.

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