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13th January 2017
Today PAPYRUS launches #BraveFace, a new social media campaign stressing the importance of talking openly about suicide and not being afraid to intervene and ask. Asking about suicide saves lives.
Many young people who may be struggling with thoughts of suicide put on a brave face. Behind the ‘mask’ they could be dying for help. But telling a distressed person that they must get help is unrealistic when they are feeling at the end of the line.
Recent YouGov Omnibus research commissioned by PAPYRUS revealed that 56% of survey respondents selected at least one reason from a list of things which would prevent them from asking a distressed friend or family member if they were thinking about suicide. The main reason given was the fear of putting the idea of suicide into a person’s head (24%). This is not true – by asking about suicide you have created a safe space to talk openly.
Other reasons why respondents said they would not intervene and ask included ‘it might offend them’, ‘I wouldn’t know how to ask’, ‘I might embarrass them’, ‘they might think I was interfering’; ‘it would be none of my business’.
Young suicide is everyone’s business. As the main cause of death of all young people under 35 years of age in the UK we must break the silence.
Help us break the taboo of asking about suicide. You’ll find ideas for conversation starters on our help and advice pages and social media channels this week; please help by sharing them and raising awareness. If you're worried about a young person, our HOPELineUK helpline team can also guide you with advice on helping others to get appropriate support.
Please support our campaign #braveface online via Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Suicidal feelings don’t have to end in suicide – if we ask about suicide, we can save young lives.