Published Sunday, 22 December 2013
The Childline charity told UTV that it expects to carry out nearly 2'000 counselling sessions for children and young people across the UK this month, including on Christmas Day.
Childline has centres in Derry and Belfast, with 200 volunteers answering calls every day over the festive period.
Geraldine Loughran, Childline supervisor, said that the volunteers receive a very wide range of calls.
"We'll get calls from children who are just feeling lonely and need someone to talk to. We get a huge number of calls around family relationships and problems around Christmas time, for example, when families can be put under particular stress.
"They'll be calling in about wanting to go into care, about worry that mum and dad is going to separate or different things like that."
Sarah Cassidy, also of Childline, told UTV that the festive period can be difficult because of the 'perfect Christmas' images of trees, decorations and presents which bombard the public.
"And it can be quite isolating for young people if they don't have that.
"So for me, knowing that I'm a trained counsellor, I can come here in the morning before I go off to my Christmas with my family.
Childline telephone: 0800 1111
"To know that someone's been here listening to children, it means a lot to me, it's very important to me."
© UTV News