The Use of Telephone Help-lines by Lonely Children and Adolescents

Marilyn Campbell*
Queensland University of Technology, Australia

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© 2015 Marilyn Campbell.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: ( This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Queensland University of Technology, Australia; E-mail:


Loneliness is a subjective distressing feeling of being disconnected from a desired group or intimate relationship. Most children and adolescents experience loneliness at some time but for 10-20% of young people it can be severe and chronic. While there are many avenues for help for distressed young people, such as friends and family as well as the professional help of counselors and psychologists, lonely young people often do not seek help. Telephone help-lines are one way to assist young people in difficulty which is cost effective, accessible and anonymous. Many countries provide this free or low cost help with specific services for youth either by telephone or online. From the call records of help-lines however, it would seem that lonely young people do not often utilize these services. The reasons for this apparent reluctance are discussed.

Keywords: Adolescents, children, loneliness, online, telephone help lines.