More and more LGBT people seek help online

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RADSTOCK, UNITED KINGDOM - JANUARY 06: A young boy plays with toys at a playgroup for pre-school aged children in Chilcompton near Radstock on January 6, 2015 in Somerset, England. Along with the health and the economy, education and childcare are to be key issues in the forthcoming election. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

More and more young people ask about LGBT issues on Childline. 7,729 counselling sessions about gender and sexuality were carried out by the charity between 2015 and 2016, the most recent year figures are available for. The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC), who run the children’s helpline, say it marks a 47% increase from the previous year’s figures – now the highest ever reported. For 1 of 4 callers it is the first experience of speaking about LGBT issues out loud. Dame Esther Rantzen, President of Childline said: “I have met young people who were desperately unhappy because they couldn’t talk to anyone about issues regarding their sexuality and I am so pleased that they do feel able to talk to Childline and reveal their feelings without being judged or stigmatised. It is not helpful that children use the term ‘gay’ as a common term of playground abuse. Furthermore, for years the adult world has created a taboo around these issues which effectively imprisoned young people and in some cases has even led to depression and suicide. Childline is calling upon the adult world to listen sensitively and support young people and protect them from this profound unhappiness and loneliness.”

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