Increasing numbers of youth seeking mental health support have left Youthline struggling to cope.
The volume of demand, which has increased dramatically since 2014, has resulted in 150 youth unable to access help from the service.
The number of calls for extreme depression have increased from 6909 in 2014 to 14,996 in 2015. The number of calls relating to suicide have also increased from 7241 in 2014 to 8291 in 2015.
Demand is expected to increase further, with the number of callers projected to rise to 12,000 by the end of the year.
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Youthline Chief Executive Stephen Bell explained the situation: “Our capacity is so full we can’t actually take more calls. What has happened is that the number of people who can’t get our service has increased.”
“It’s quite distressing,” he added.
Bell explained the rise in numbers: “Symptoms like depression, suicide, self-harm, fear, and anxiety are a symptom of the environment our young people are trying to find their way through.”
He further added that factors such as financial debt, staying at home longer, and flatting in more crowded environments are some of the reasons behind increasing stress.