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New Bolton community initiative aims to reduce young suicide

19th November 2015


Thursday, 19 November 2015 – Today Bolton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and national charity PAPYRUS Prevention of Young Suicide announced a new programme that aims to reduce the number of young suicides in the Bolton area.

In Bolton during 2013 (latest published statistics) there were 8 suicides by young people aged 10-34 years (6 male 2 female). Behind that statistic is a large number who self harm, not all presenting to A&E. PAPYRUS experience in the community indicates that those working on the front line are dealing on a regular basis with young people at risk of suicide.

The Suicide Safer Communities Programme for Young People will be managed by PAPYRUS and funded by Bolton CCG, within its ‘building healthy partnerships’ project.

For this project, the largest of its kind to be launched in the UK to date, PAPYRUS is recruiting a team of 32 volunteers aged between 16 and 35 to organise, co-ordinate and deliver suicide prevention activities across the Bolton area. Volunteers will be trained in suicide prevention first aid, known as Applied Suicide Intervention Skills training to support them with their activities. These will include workshops, information points and support campaigns that aim to shatter the stigma of suicide that prevents too many young people from seeking help.

“Our aim is to help Bolton become a ‘suicide-safer community’, a community in which suicide is spoken about openly and safely, and young people know where to access help and support for suicide prevention,” said Alice Newton, Project Co-ordinator, PAPYRUS. “For young people to hear open talk about suicide prevention from their peers, we believe will encourage many more young people to talk about how they feel and get help to see them through difficult and distressing times.”

Wirin Bhatiani, Chair of Bolton CCG, said: “I am delighted that we are able to fund this programme - improving access to mental health services in Bolton is a high priority for us, as early access to effective support can make a huge difference in times of need for people with mental health issues”.

Said Ged Flynn, PAPYRUS Chief Executive: “suicide remains the main cause of death in young men and women under 35. The North West has one of the highest rates of young suicide. We aim to build a society which speaks openly about suicide and has the resources to help young people who may have suicidal thoughts. We are pleased to partner Bolton Clinical Commissioning Group in this mission.”

Editor’s Notes

Every year in the UK between 600 and 800 young people between the ages of 15 and 24 take their own lives - a number equivalent to the population of a small secondary school. Under the age of 35, the number rises to over 1,600. That equates to around three to four per day. Three quarters of them are young men.

PAPYRUS was founded in 1997 by a group of parents who had lost a child through suicide: parents determined to do everything possible to save other families and young people from a similar fate.

The charity’s HOPELineUK helpline provides a unique service in the UK for young people themselves and those concerned about them - to speak confidentially to its team of trained professionals for practical advice and support. Telephone 0800 068 41 41 text 07786 209 697 or email pat@papyrus-uk.org

Monday – Friday 10-10pm Weekends - 2-10pm Bank holidays - 2-5pm

For more information about PAPYRUS Rosemary Vaux PAPYRUS press office direct line 020 8943 5343 mobile 07792 72 62 41

For more information about Bolton Clinical Commissioning Group Sarah Fletcher-Hogg Bolton Clinical Commissioning Group tel 01204 462 020 s.fletcher-hogg@nhs.net


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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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