Monday, March 23, 2009

Next week Newsround will show Gone, a special documentary about bereavement and how it affects children. According to the BBC press release Newsround was surprised by the strength of feeling from its audience.

There has been a big rise in the number of suicidal kids contacting ChildLine over the last five years, says its head Sue Minto. Speaking today on BBC News she said "unfortunately we have very unhappy children at the moment." Her message to parents was that they shouldn't trivialise anything which seems to be important to their child because children don't always outwardly show that they are very distressed and maybe feeling suicidal. However trivial or silly kids' problems might seem, parents were advised that they should take what their children have to say seriously.

When asked what advice ChildLine counsellors give to children in these circumstances, Sue replied: "... we do urge children to try and find someone locally, we help them to think through who could they talk to. Could they talk to a family member, is there someone at school, is there a family friend... "

Clearly the experts believe that a trouble shared is a trouble halved. So the BBC still needs to explain why, as part of what it described as improvements, it closed down its important children's peer help message boards including the Bullying board and the Your Life board. And why did the BBC remove all of its advice about growing up, and stop providing help from agony uncle Aaron? These are some of the questions I've asked of the relevant BBC department, but so far without a satisfactory response. There was an overwhelming strength of feeling against the CBBC message board closures (blog 29 December 2008)

".. Newsround has a long history of tackling sensitive and challenging issues .." (Sinead Rocks, Editor of Newsround)

Sinead's blog about Gone

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