Teens, parents of teens the biggest users of help hotlines

TIRED, irritable and disconnected - Just some of the signs that may hint that your child could be suffering from teen angst.

A review of figures from Kids Helpline and Parentline show parents caught in the cross fire reached out for assistance for teenagers more than any other age group and their children sought assistance from Kids Helpline.

Kids Helpline have responded to over 200,000 contacts year on year regarding issues ranging from mental health, family relationships through to suicide related concerns.

High School aged students were the largest users of Kids Helpline services with 13-18 year olds making up 56% of children who contacted the service.

Not surprisingly, figures from Parentline mirrored that of Kids Helpline with parents of children between the ages of 10-18 responsible for 55% of all contacts to the Parentline service.

While parents reached out for advice on the changing behaviours of their children, children's concerns were far more complex with mental health topping the list of children's worries.

Shockingly, Kids Helpline Duty of Care Interventions have increased over the past 4 years by 121%.

In 2014 alone, 1640 emergency care actions were initiated with 26% of those related to a suicide attempt.

One of the biggest milestones for children is the transition into high school from primary school with this time of year often being the cause of major anxiety and stress in the home.

Kids Helpline and Parentline Manager, Tony FitzGerald says parents can play a key role in assisting their children to transition.

"School transitions are not just an important milestone but also a crucial time in a child's development," Mr FitzGerald said.

"Often these times set the standard in terms of how they develop coping strategies, problem solving skills and ways of seeing and understanding the world outside of their family.

"It is important that parents provide acceptance, encouragement and support during times of such transition and change.

"In a nutshell, the most important thing a parent can do during this time is to be positive, patient and supportive - if you listen your child will share what they are facing and experiencing."

Kids Helpline provides 24 hour counselling services to young people aged 5 to 25 years - free call 1800 55 1800 or online at www.kidshelpline.com.au

Parentline is a confidential telephone service providing professional counselling and support for parents and carers of children in Queensland and the Northern Territory - free call 1300 30 1300 or online at http://www.kidshelpline.com.au

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