A NEW mental health campaign aimed to help boys speak out has been launched by Childline.
The service, which is run by the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC), said new data showed boys are far less likely to talk to its counsellors about mental health than girls.
In 2020/21 Childline carried out 31,899 counselling sessions with girls about mental health issues compared to 5,622 with boys.
When it came to counselling sessions about suicidal thoughts and feelings, they delivered 11,719 with girls but just 1,592 with boys.
Despite less boys talking to Childline about feeling suicidal than girls, the latest national data for registered deaths in England and Wales shows 122 boys aged 10 to 19 died by suicide. In the same year 52 girls took their life.
The We All Feel It campaign has been set up to support young males who are struggling to speak about their mental health and to help them before they reach crisis point.
Developed with creative agency Livity, the campaign aims to resonate with boys and remind them Childline is always there and ready to support them, with whatever they are experiencing, 24 hours a day.
Alex Gray, service head at Childline said: “At Childline, we know how hard it can be for children to speak out about their mental health.
“In particular, it can be really challenging for boys due to the pressures they feel around not showing emotion and appearing strong due to toxic masculinity.
“At Childline, we want to remind all children that sharing their mental health concerns with a trusted adult or a Childline counsellor is a brave thing to do and it will enable them to get the help and support they need.
“Talking about mental health issues early on can prevent things escalating and can save a young person’s life.
“We hope that by putting the spotlight on male mental health we can help boys understand that they are not alone.”
Children and young people can contact Childline for free, confidential support and advice, 24 hours a day on 0800 1111 or at www.childline.org.uk.