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Calls on self-harm to ChildLine surge

The number of youngsters contacting ChildLine in Scotland about self-harming has increased by almost 90% in the space of a year.

The number of children getting in touch because they may be suicidal has gone up by almost 40%.

Volunteers at ChildLine's two Scottish centres, in Glasgow and Aberdeen, counselled 2174 children last year who said they were harming themselves.

That is up from 1157 in 2010-11, a 87.9% rise. The number of children counselled about suicide went from 1242 to 1728 – a rise of 39.1%. Elaine Chalmers, head of ChildLine in Scotland, said the increasing number of children contacting them about self-harm and suicide is a growing area of concern.

"The pressures facing children and young people, particularly girls, are increasing at such a rate some see these drastic measures as the only answer. Boys are suffering but they are less likely to seek help and we urge them to do so. No matter how bad things seem, it can help to talk to someone," she said.

ChildLine can be contacted via 0800 1111 or childline.org.uk.

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