The NSPCC said it delivered 4,063 counselling sessions via its Childline service to under-18s in 2016/17, who said they were struggling with feelings of isolation. This was the first year the organisation collected data about the problem, after noticing a rise in calls related to the issue.
Female callers made at least 73 per cent of the calls (2,978), compared with at least 14 per cent made by boys (582 calls). The remaining callers (503) did not disclose their gender.
NSPCC chief executive Peter Wanless said there was no single reason why so many children were experiencing isolation. Some callers blamed social media for leading them to make unrealistic life comparisons with other people, which left them feeling "ugly and unpopular".