Childline get a call a minute on Christmas day as mental health expert warns of 'stress and anxiety' for children

Childline get a call a minute on Christmas day as mental health expert warns of 'stress and anxiety' for children
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Parents are being advised that Children can suffer stress, anxiety, sadness and pressure at this time of year.

Mental health experts say it's good to be aware of risk factors and encourage a sense of routine.

The CEO of St Patrick's Mental Health Services Paul Gilligan says overstimulation and lack of sleep can have an impact

"Now nobody wants to spoil Christmas by putting a dampener on what is a very enjoyable, really important occasion for children," he said.

"It's really managing expectations.

"It's helping young people to manage their own expectation. It's being mindful of the fact that heightened emotions can create stress and anxiety and depression for children," he added.

Meanwhile, Childline says the Christmas holiday can be a magical and exciting time for children but it can also be a time of disappointment and sadness.

This year alone, the service received nearly one call a minute on Christmas Day, with volunteers answering over 1,200 calls, texts and online contacts.

National Childline Manager Emma McCluskey, says the service continues to be available 365 days of the year.

"The magic of Christmas doesn't reach every home," she said. "That's something that we are really aware of.

"It's really important that every young person knows that there is someone that they can turn to, somebody that they can talk to - whether it be a trusted family member or an adult they have in their life," she added.

"But Childline is another option for young people. We are there 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

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