Thousands of young people are feeling lonely and misunderstood, new figures have revealed. The NSPCC delivered 4,063 counselling sessions last year – the equivalent of 11 per day – to children who were lonely and warned that children as young as six struggle with the pressures of growing up in the modern world and a lack of adults to talk to.
Responding to the findings Denise Hatton, Chief Executive of the National Council of YMCAs, said:
“Young people face immense pressures these days and it’s important that those who struggle with loneliness and other mental health difficulties have someone to talk to and know where to go for support.
“However, it’s crucial that we don’t just treat the symptoms of loneliness but that changes are made to tackle the root of the issue.
“Local YMCAs work with 230,000 young people a year and we know that youth services, such as youth clubs, give young people the opportunity to feel part of their community. Yet over the years these services have been a frequent and easy target for local authorities looking to make savings in reduced budgets.
“In this digital age where family dynamics and friendships have changed dramatically, opportunities for young people to take part in activities and socialise offline are now more important than ever.”