The structure and composition of helplines varies greatly across the Insafe network which some being general helplines dealing with a huge array of issues, some dealing specifically with online issues, and some catering for very targeted audiences such as professionals only. Nevertheless, the latest set of data, covering the period from April to June 2016, confirms that teens are the main users of helpline services, with almost three quarters of helplines identifying 12-18 year olds as the main group using their services. This supports the trend seen also by awareness centres that this age group tends to be the one that faces the greatest challenges online.
In terms of methods of contacting helplines, the telephone still remains the most common method of making contact, although this has declined slightly over the last 18 months while the number of contacts using chat and, to a lesser extent, email has risen slightly. This recognises the growing number of helplines that are introducing this capability in order to meet the demand, particularly from teens who favour alternative methods of contact which align with how they typically interact with other types of content and services online.