Help Kids Unwrap Their Fears This Christmas Says Charity Boss

 21 December 2022

Families are being praised for having difficult conversations about suicide.

The national charity PAPYRUS Prevention of Young Suicide says many lives have been saved in 2022 thanks to parents supporting their struggling children.

Chief executive, Ged Flynn, said: “Starting a conversation about suicide is challenging and difficult to contemplate but thankfully families across the UK are taking that first step and having these life-saving discussions.

“Well done to parents for supporting their children, helping them to share their worries, navigate their difficulties and for reassuring them they are not alone.”

Every week the charity receives hundreds of calls, texts and emails to its confidential HOPELINE247 service which is seeing an increase in the number of contacts about the cost-of-living crisis.

“Children love Christmas but at this time of year many of them have a stocking-full of fears. On top of their worries about school and relentless social pressure, children know that money is becoming tighter and their families can no longer afford certain things.

“Children have even told us they feel like a financial burden on their parents and that the family would be better off without them, which is utterly heart-breaking,” added Mr Flynn.

PAPYRUS is concerned that suicides among teenagers have been on the increase for more than a decade and wants to understand some of the possible reasons why.

The charity has produced a Parents’ Guide to Self-Harm and Suicide which offers practical and professional advice to help break the silence and encourage parents to talk to their children.

A mother, who contributed to the guide anonymously, said: “I knew I had to keep my daughter safe. We talked about how she was feeling and she grew to know that she could talk to me whenever she felt bad. It’s too painful a road to travel alone when there are people trained to help in such situations.

PAPYRUS believes many young suicides are preventable and everybody has a role to play in making our communities suicide-safe.

Ged Flynn added: “It is wonderful that parents and family members are having these difficult conversations. They are intervening and seizing the opportunity to get children and young people the professional support and advice they need,

“As we approach the New Year, no young person should have to suffer alone with thoughts or feelings of hopelessness and nobody should have to go through the heartbreak of losing a young person to suicide.”


Suicide is the biggest killer of young people in the UK.

PAPYRUS aims to reduce the number of young people who take their own lives by breaking down the stigma around suicide and equipping people with the skills to recognise and respond to suicidal behaviour.

HOPELINE247 is the charity’s confidential helpline service providing practical advice and support to young people with thoughts of suicide and anyone concerned about a young person who may have thoughts of suicide.

HOPELINE247 is staffed by trained professionals, offering a telephone, text and email service.

For practical, confidential suicide prevention help and advice please contact PAPYRUS HOPELINE247 on 0800 068 4141, text 88247 or email

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