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Essex University students’ abseil challenge to save young lives

5th April 2016

Samaa Elsandabesee and Esther Oluga, 22 year old Essex University students, overcame their fear of heights recently to support young people struggling with mental illness.

Samaa, studying for a masters psychology research degree and Esther, in her sociology degree final year, joined fellow students in an ‘Over the Edge’ challenge abseiling down Essex University’s Rayleigh Tower – 14 floors - to raise money for national charity PAPYRUS Prevention of Young Suicide.

“Both admitted being a little terrified at the outset. “I was determined that I wanted to stretch myself for this very good cause,” said Samaa. “Suicide is a subject very close to my heart and it is alarming that it is the main cause of death of all young people under 35.”

“Nobody should suffer in silence and be a victim of stigma,” added Esther. “We need to talk about it and like PAPYRUS, create a safe space for all people to ask for help.”

Samaa and Esther met at the University of Essex Sanguine Mental Health Society that was created to raise awareness of mental health conditions and to support students by signposting them to the appropriate help.

“This is an amazing effort by these students, helping us to raise awareness that suicide can be prevented and reach out to more young people, encouraging them to talk and above all to seek help,” said Ottilie Scanlon, PAPYRUS fundraising assistant.

To support Esther and Samaa visit www.justgiving.com/SamaaAndEsthersAbseil


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Suicide is the biggest killer of young people - male and female - under 35 in the UK. Many thousands more attempt or contemplate suicide, harm themselves or suffer alone, afraid to speak openly about how they are feeling.

We are the national charity for the prevention of young suicide. We draw from the experience of many who have been touched personally by young suicide across the UK and speak on their behalf in our campaigns and in our work. We need more people who share our aims to join us to strengthen our voice - together we can save young lives.

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