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Face up to suicide this Christmas and New Year

10th December 2015

Suicide prevention charity reports sharp rise in calls for help

10 December 2015 – Spare a thought for young people who dread this time of year, says national charity PAPYRUS Prevention of Young Suicide. The charity’s HOPELineUK helpline service is already receiving calls from young people worried that they will not be able to handle the next few weeks. Some young adults may seem like the life and soul of the party but may be thinking of ‘ending it all’.

Many of the charity’s members who lost children to suicide report that the young people they lost were anything but sad and down in the days leading up to their death – often they seemed full of life and hope. HOPELineUK callers often tell PAPYRUS that they just cannot tell family and friends that they are not coping. They often say that they don’t want to upset them.

Suicide remains the single most common cause of death in all young people under 35 in the UK – that’s young men and young women. And behind the shocking statistic (around 1,600 last year alone) are countless more young people - from all walks of life - who are very sad, isolated or feel they cannot go on living.

 

If worried ask ‘have you thought of suicide?’

 

Christmas and New Year can bring new pressures for us all but for young people who may already be experiencing unbearable uncertainty, it can be a very isolating time and can cause some to consider suicide,” said Ged Flynn, PAPYRUS chief executive. “I am no party pooper but we must all take time to look out for any young adult whom we know who may be struggling. And how would we know? We should ask them about suicide. Straight up. Any doubt: ask. It will not make suicide more likely but it will be a relief to someone who is struggling. You have given them permission to talk about it. If you are not sure what to say or how to introduce the subject, our helpline team is there to advise you too.

 

Surge in requests for suicide prevention advice

In the past few months PAPYRUS has seen a massive surge in contacts to its telephone, text and email HOPELineUK helpline service. In October alone total contacts increased by 300 per cent from the same month last year. In recent weeks the number of new clients using its text and email advice service rose by an average 33 per cent each week. With increasing demand the charity has increased the number of professional suicide prevention advisors staffing HOPELineUK.

HOPELineUK advisors hear a wide range of issues that young people feel are contributing to their thoughts and feelings of suicides. Living with illness, bullying, sexual and domestic abuse and eating disorders remain common themes. Unsurprisingly contacts in recent months have also reflected feelings of hopelessness coping with the new school, college and university year.

PAPYRUS advisors are professionals who engage with young people and those worried about them. Our skilled interventions result in fewer referrals and reports to emergency services although we will get this help when a young life is in imminent danger,” said Ged Flynn. “We know from feedback that our intervention policy does not put people off calling.

HOPELineUK the PAPYRUS national helpline services will be open throughout the holidays. If you are young and need support don’t become a statistic. Call 0800 068 41 41 text 07786 209 697 or email pat@papyrus-uk.org If you are worried about a young person you know PAPYRUS is there for you too.

Editorial contact for more information: Rosemary Vaux PAPYRUS press office direct line:020 8943 5343 mobile 07792 72 62 41

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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.

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