This Saturday, May 17 is International Child Helpline Day when child helplines around the world celebrate their work and achievements. The theme for this year is ‘The Right to be heard’.
0800 What’s Up manager Rhonda Morrison says they couldn’t be more pleased with the theme.
“It is really fitting with the service’s new theme song, We’ll be Around, as the message communicates that when you think nobody is there to listen, 0800 What’s Up is there to answer your call,” she says.
International Child Helpline Day is the global occasion for child helplines to call attention to their work in protecting and empowering children and young people. International Child Helpline Day started in 2007 and will be celebrated in 2014 across the globe for the eighth consecutive year.
0800 What’s Up is part of a global network of child helplines – Child Helpline International (CHI). This network includes 178 member child helplines in 143 countries worldwide, all gaining strength and support from one another.
“Across the world on 17 May we celebrate the remarkable achievements and dedication of our child helpline members’., executive director of CHI Nenita La Rose says. ‘Our members receive many calls every year related to abuse, violence, mental health and family relationships. Call rates are also increasing by an average five per cent a year, meaning that helpline demand doubles every 15 years. By continuing to listen to children and young people in this fast-changing world, we hope to empower them with information, support and care into the future.”
Since CHI was founded in 2003, child helplines from around the world have received more than 126 million contacts.
Each year 0800 What’s Up receives over 200,000 calls, and last year helped over 100,000 children and young people from throughout New Zealand. Since opening in 2001, the 0800 What’s Up Counsellors have answered nearly 1.5 million calls from child and young people who are needing someone to talk to.
“We want to make sure every young person has the opportunity to get help if they need it. We believe young people having the ability to access confidential and free support is vital,” Ms Morrison says.
“Growing up is such a crucial time in a person’s life and can be very challenging. 0800 What’s up wants five-18 year-olds to know that they are there and are happy to listen, whether you need help or just want to chat.”