As the charity Childline celebrates its 30th birthday, it is unveiling pop star Cheryl Fernandez-Versini as its new campaigner.

Cheryl will focus on encouraging teenagers going through any difficult feelings to reach out for support rather than suffer in silence.

In her new role, the 33-year-old is sending a message to young people who are struggling to cope with the 24/7 pressures and demands of modern life, that they are not alone and there is help at hand.

The star's involvement comes as new Childline figures show a 22% increase over the last three years in counselling sessions for girls aged 12-18 who are suffering from mental health and wellbeing issues. such as low self-esteem, depression and self-harm.

31,221

counselling sessions for girls in 2013/14

38,155

counselling sessions for girls in 2015/16

A greater worry is that 8,508 of these counselling sessions were carried out for teenage girls with suicidal feelings, a 28% increase over the same three-year period.

Cheryl filming for Childline Credit: Childline

As a teenager I was aware of Childline, but like so many others I mistakenly thought it was just for young kids.

Cheryl Fernandez-Versini

To mark Cheryl’s launch as a Childline Campaigner she has filmed an emotive video for the charity that sees her voice replaced by young people talking about deeply personal problems.

One boy is explaining how he is gay but is too frightened to tell his dad, while a teenage girl talks about being sexually abused at home.

Having someone of Cheryl’s profile, who millions of young people admire is one of the best birthday presents Childline could hope for. We are really excited at the awareness that Cheryl will bring to the service, and in particular how she will enable us reach out to even more desperately unhappy young people with nowhere else to turn. She fully understands the new dangers young people face today such as sexting and cyber-bullying.

Dame Esther Rantzen, who founded Childline in 1986

Childline has a 24-hour helpline on 0800 1111

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