The new smartphone app from Childline, invented by four teenagers, is a world first
The NSPCC’s Childline has launched an app that is the first to provide counselling to young people in need of help directly through their smartphone in the UK and Channel Islands.
For Me was actually invented by four teenagers who realised there was an urgent need for young people to have easy access to confidential advice and support. The app is now available as a free download, with users being able to interact with all of Childline’s online services, including its 1-2-1 chat with a counsellor, the ‘Ask Sam’ problem pages and entrance to their private ‘locker’ – a password-protected area which features a daily mood tracker and space to write down personal thoughts.
When Childline first launched 30 years ago, all contact was over the phone, with many calls being made from telephone boxes. Now, 71% of counselling sessions are delivered online via email and 1-2-1 chat, with the remainder being conducted with a young person via their mobile phone.
The app has been named ‘For Me’ to ensure it can be discreetly installed on devices, meaning that if someone else happens to see the phone, they won’t necessarily know it’s a Childline service.
“Launching the For Me app shows how we’re continuing to capitalise on new technology to give children the easiest possible access to Childline’s free and confidential advice and support,” says John Cameron, head of Childline services at the NSPCC. “Its development will enable our younger generation to tap directly into Childline’s services through their mobile phone whenever and wherever they need our help.”
Currently available on the iOS app store, an Android version will be made available in the coming weeks.