Parents anxious about kids' anxiety

Chen Huizhi
Calls to the city's youth hotline from parents worried about their children's depression increased last year.
Chen Huizhi

Depression and anxiety of their children was the top concern of parents who sought help from the city's youth hotline 12355 last year, according to the hotline's annual report released on Sunday.

The hotline received about 50 calls each day. About 60 percent of the calls were made by people in their 30s and 40s. Among them, about a third called to ask about their children's depression and anxiety, while about a quarter asked for help on schoolwork. A fifth said their teen children were hard to deal with.

The picture was very different in 2018, when 40 percent of the parents called with concerns about their children's academic performance, and only 14 percent of the calls were related to depression.

The same trend was noted in face-to-face consultations via the hotline, of which 420 were sought last year. About 40 percent of those sessions were related to depression.

Last year, the 12355 center surveyed about 6,000 students under 18 years old, and 47 percent of them said they were under "great pressure." In another survey among parents, 42 percent of them said the pressure came from their children's academic performance.

The youth hotline is operated by Shanghai Youth League. Currently, almost 800 volunteers work for the hotline, with around 700 certified psychological consultants.

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