National charity PAPYRUS Prevention of Young Suicide welcomes the emphasis on the role of schools in preventing young suicides in Wales, which is highlighted in the report published today by the National Assembly for Wales Children, Young People and Education Committee.

“I am delighted that Wales is leading the way with this initiative,” said PAPYRUS chief executive Ged Flynn, who gave evidence to the Committee’s inquiry and shared with them the PAPYRUS Building Suicide-Safer Schools and Colleges guide for teachers and staff.

“I’m especially pleased that this report highlights and outlines the need for specific action to actively engage in and promote suicide prevention, rather than hide it under general mental health recommendations. Schools are already being encouraged to foreground mental health, but now Wales is recommending schools are prepared to prevent suicide. Other home nations should do the same, not just support schools after a tragedy, however, important that is.

“The recommendation that we prepare schools with prevention tools is also an important step in bringing to fruition some of the important messages of ‘Talk To Me 2’, the national suicide prevention strategy for Wales.”

The charity welcomes the three relevant calls to action recommended. These are to provide guidance on talking about suicide and self-harm; to prioritise the issuing of guidance to schools where there has been a suicide or suspected suicide and to ensure that basic mental health training becomes part of initial teacher training and continuous professional development.

“As the leading UK charity dedicated to preventing young suicides, we applaud the Committee’s call on the Government to work with expert organisations to deliver its recommendations,” said Ged Flynn. “PAPYRUS stands ready to equip schools and colleges across Wales with knowledge, skills, guidance and support to be suicide-aware; ready, willing and able to help children who may be in emotional distress to the point that they are considering suicide. Together we are working hard to Save The #ClassOf2018.”

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