MORE children in Newport needed counselling last year than in the other local authorities in Gwent, a Wales-wide report has revealed.

The figures show that 486 children from Newport needed counselling support compared with the neighbouring counties of Torfaen - 426 children, Monmouthshire - 410 children, Blaenau Gwent - 319 children and Caerphilly - 432 children.

Boys and girls referred from the five councils made up around 18 per cent of the 11,337 children who were given counselling across Wales.

Data was also collected on the extent of “psychological stress” children were experiencing before and after they attended counselling sessions.

This revealed that children from Caerphilly were in the worst psychological condition before they were given support, with Monmouthshire coming a close second.

However, the report also showed that Caerphilly offered on average eight or more sessions to each child who was referred compared with Newport who offer an average of three sessions per child.

Records also show that Caerphilly children showed the most improvement in their mental health out of any other area in Wales after they attended the sessions.

The recent report conducted by the Welsh Government attempts to give an overall picture of counselling services provided for children and young people across Wales and by local authority, looking at those between 11 and 18-years-old who were referred between 2015-16.

In Wales, the number of children referred to counselling services dropped by 230 compared with the previous years results however, there was a 25 percent increase in the number of children referred for suicidal concerns.

More than half of the young people referred were female, and boys and girls in Year 10 needed the most support of any other age group with exam stress due to GCSE’s believed to be a main factor.

Family issues, self-worth and stress were the top three reasons given by young people as to why they were seeking mental health support.

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