Childline now offering digital programmes in response to high demand for anxiety support, ISPCC Annual Report outlines

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ISPCC Annual Report 2020 / 2021

Childline has begun offering Digital Mental Health and Wellbeing Programmes in response to a high level of demand for support around anxiety, ISPCC’s 2020 / 2021 Annual Report outlines.

Two years on from when schools first closed with the introduction of pandemic restrictions, children and young people are telling the services provided by ISPCC how they feel anxious, stressed and unsure. Childline is now offering an expanded suite of services to support children and young people facing such challenges.

The report published today outlines how Childline services are innovating and evolving digitally to empower children, strengthen their resilience and enable children to live their best possible life.


ISPCC Chief Executive John Church said: “We are delighted to present our Annual Report for October 2020 to September 2021. This report covers an extraordinary period in our charity’s history – a time in which children and young people were acutely impacted by Covid-19 pandemic restrictions.

“It is testament to the dedication of our volunteers, employees and all those who support us, that Childline remained available every day and night throughout this challenging time. For many, it was a time in which anxiety appeared to stem from every aspect of life. Two years on, a return to ‘normality’ is simply inconceivable for some.

“It is vitally important that children know they can access support, regardless of what’s on their mind. The value of prevention, early intervention and promoting resilience cannot be understated. Our digital journey, as presented in this Annual Report, sees us continue to innovate and evolve to ensure that every child and young person can access the support they need, when they need it.


Digital Mental Health and Wellbeing Programmes

“To support children and young people who experience anxiety, we are delighted to now be offering free Digital Mental Health and Wellbeing Programmes for children, young people, parents and carers. These are designed to promote a better understanding of anxiety and to minimise the distress which is often associated.

“The Space From Anxiety, Supporting an Anxious Child and Supporting an Anxious Teen programmes, developed by SilverCloud*, are based on the principles of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), incorporate mindfulness practices and are specifically designed to assist in managing anxiety.

“They have proven clinical outcomes and are yielding overwhelmingly positive feedback from parents, carers, children and young people who speak of the difference they have made in their lives.


School Transitions Programme

“We are also conscious of the challenges that can be faced by children and young people transitioning from primary to secondary school. The period covered in this report saw us successfully pilot our ‘Smart Moves’ schools transition programme, which is focused on strengthening resilience and increasing coping capacity in young people at that significant point in their lives.


Key Impacts

“Additional key impacts recorded from our Childline suite of services across this period highlight the importance of children and young people having access to the support they need, when they need it.

  • “Our Childline Listening Service was there for children and young people who spoke with us about a wide variety of topics and challenges, including everyday life, family relationships, mental and emotional health, relationships and puberty, friendships and peer relationships.
  • “Our Childline Therapeutic Support Services provided tailored, intensive, one-to-one support, online, in person and on a hybrid basis, to children and young people experiencing challenges including anxiety, low self-esteem and difficulty coping.
  • “Our outreach activities engaged with children and young people across Ireland
  • “A phenomenal 37,924 hours were donated by volunteers who spent time listening to children and young people contacting Childline.



“To all of those who supported Childline in any way this year – whether as a fundraiser, volunteer, corporate supporter or otherwise – we are hugely grateful for your help in keeping us there for every child and young person 24 hours a day, every day.

An engagement with Childline can make a lasting difference in the life of a child or young person when they need it most. On behalf of all of those who we support, thank you for making that possible.”


Commitment to Transparency

ISPCC noted in its report its commitment to best practice in governance. The organisation prepared its accounts in accordance with SORP, the Statement of Recommended Practice for Charities.


We are grateful for support in the delivery of the ‘Space From Anxiety’, ‘Supporting An Anxious Child’ and ‘Supporting An Anxious Teen’ programme from the HSE National Office for Suicide Prevention, as part of Connecting for Life, Ireland’s National Strategy to Reduce Suicide and The Community Foundation for Ireland: RTÉ Does Comic Relief: Adapt and Respond Grant.

*SilverCloud is a leading global provider of evidence-based digital wellbeing and behavioural health solutions.


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