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PAPYRUS launches Young Community Champions Project for West Midlands

26th February 2015

PAPYRUS has launched the first young people’s champions project by announcing its first group of young suicide prevention champions for the West Midlands. The programme is generously supported by footwear retailer schuh.

As part of the charity’s wider plans to build suicide-safer communities in Birmingham and the West Midlands, 15 young volunteers between 18 and 34 years will be trained with the life-saving skills and ability to recognise, respond to and intervene in suicidal behaviours in other young people within their own communities.

They will also be actively engaging with their communities, organising awareness-raising workshops, distributing PAPYRUS literature with mental wellbeing guidance and fundraising.
The Champions Forum programme falls within the wider remit the charity has, with the aim of reducing young suicides in this part of the United Kingdom; launched last November.

It will be led by Mehrdad Nadershahi, Regional Birmingham Development Officer, from the charity’s West Midlands’ office in Birmingham. 

Ged Flynn, PAPYRUS chief executive stressed the importance of trained young people working with their community peer groups.


“Stigma and embarrassment are key obstacles to open conversation about emotional distress and, especially, about suicide. Our new project will equip and encourage a group of young people to champion open, sensitive conversation about these issues. This breaks the taboo around suicide and increases young people’s awareness of help that is available even through the darkest times.”


For more information about the project contact Mehrdad on:


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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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