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30 young people in the UK will kill themselves over Christmas

20th December 2017


National charity PAPYRUS Prevention of Young Suicide predicts that over 30 young suicides will happen over the Christmas break in the UK and that these are wholly preventable. New ONS statistics released this week show that 1,666 young people died in 2016 to suicide.

A one-minute campaign video by PAPYRUS shows that we can all make a difference, even if we find it scary. Young actors wear large signs such as: ‘Death is my only option’, ‘I want to end it all’, ‘I’m going to end my life’, and ‘Suicide is the only answer’. During a total of 16 hours filming in two busy shopping areas, just 42 people stopped to help the young people or to offer support. Many said they didn’t know what to do or to say. Many others passed by.

PAPYRUS chief executive Ged Flynn said, “Our hard hitting film acknowledges that signs are not always easy to spot. We want people to help us to save young lives.”

Student Louis Hall Dunleavy, 20, one of the actors who took part in the video, said, “It made me realise how important it is to be open and help those in need.”

This week’s ONS report shows an increase in young suicides in 2016. The charity is very concerned that young suicide in the UK is at its highest for the past 10 years. Suicide remains THE main cause of death in young people under the age of 35.

If you are concerned about a young person this Christmas, check out our resources on how to ‘spot the signs’ and start a conversation with a young person.


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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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