Thousands of abused children are being left to fend for themselves according to a charity.

The NSPCC revealed that counsellors from its ChildLine service, based across the UK including in Glasgow and Aberdeen, received nearly 100 contacts a week last year from children who have been abused.

Many were suffering poor mental health as a result, and across the UK, the service counselled young people on 85,000 occasions with mental health related concerns. Children calling the free 24 hour service reported unhappiness, suicidal thoughts, low self-esteem and diagnosed mental health disorders such as bipolar.

Of the 85,000 calls over 5000 involved children who also sought help for sexual or physical abuse.

The number reporting unhappiness and low self-esteem issues rose by 9% to 35,244m, and those troubled by anxiety almost trebled to 8,642, the charity revealed in a report, ‘Always there when I need you’.

One 15-year-old contacted counsellors in Glasgow because she felt like she had been taken advantage of: “I feel really low. I’ve started to think about killing myself and have cut myself a few times. No one seems to notice how unhappy I am, I just feel worthless and like I need to end it,” she said.

The NSPCC said lengthy waiting times for mental health care, lack of out-of-hours support, service closures, and absence of information contributed to young people feeling they had to cope alone.

During 2014/15, ChildLine carried out a total of 286,812 counselling sessions across the UK , including 47,758 handled from its Scottish bases.

Peter Wanless, NSPCC Chief Executive, said: “Thousands of vulnerable children– many of whom have been abused - are silently coping with serious issues that leave them racked with worry when instead they should be getting help to rebuild their childhoods. We risk failing a generation of children if we leave them without the vital support they need to recover.

ChildLine founder, Esther Rantzen said: “Many of today’s children feel utterly miserable – for some, they feel that life is not worth living. We need more help and support for young people. We must give them a chance to tell us what is in their hearts.”