Since March 1991, young Australians have been contacting Kids Helpline about a wide range of issues; from everyday topics such as family, friends and school to more serious issues of child abuse, bullying, mental health issues, drug and alcohol use, homelessness and suicide.
Counselling and support is provided via the phone, web and email. Email counselling began in 1999 and real-time web counselling commenced in 2000.
Children and young people have direct access to a counsellor and can choose to speak with either a male or female counsellor. They are also able to arrange to speak again with the same counsellor to work through their issues.Counsellors empower young people by assisting them to:
- Develop options
- Identify and understand the consequences of a particular course of action
- Facilitate more productive relationships with family and friends, and
- Provide information on local support services.
Kids Helpline counsellors are fully qualified professionals who undergo additional training at Kids Helpline. No other organisation speaks with as many young Australians. On average, each day counsellors conduct 170 counselling sessions, which include:
- 20 sessions with young people having suicidal thoughts
- 30 sessions with young people disclosing self-harming issues
- 73 sessions relating to mental health concerns