THERE has been a surge in young people receiving help from Childline for help in coping with anxiety.

The charity has found the pressures of modern-day life are leaving some children and teenagers feeling overwhelmed which has led to a rise in youngsters seeking help.

Children in Swindon are learning the importance of speaking out about their concerns, whatever they may be, through the NSPCC’s Speak Out Stay Safe programme. So far 18 schools have been visited with more than 5,000 pupils reached during the academic year.

The programme teaches primary school children about the different kinds of abuse, but also helps them identify trusted adults they can speak to about any worries they may have.

Chief executive Peter Wanless said: “Anxiety can be a crippling illness and it is deeply worrying that the number of counselling sessions we are delivering for this issue is rising so quickly.

“Increasingly, Childline is filling the gap left by our public mental health services, providing young people with a place they can go for round the clock help and advice.”

Children and teenagers cite a range of reasons why they may be feeling anxious, including bullying and cyber-bullying, eating problems, relationships and issues with homework and exams.

The Government recently announced proposals to tackle the problem with school-based support for young people.

But the programme is being rolled-out gradually and will cover only a quarter of the country by 2022/23