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Wake up to the needs of children and halt rising young suicides

4th July 2017

Today’s report by the Children’s Commissioner is a real challenge to all of us to wake up to the needs of children and take them more seriously. In her preface to this week’s report, ‘On measuring the number of vulnerable children in England’, the Children’s Commissioner for England writes:

“Work out how many vulnerable children there are in this country today…Four months, 12 experts, 500 pages and four spreadsheets later, and our answer is: we don’t know.”

Ged Flynn, PAPYRUS chief executive welcomed the report and said “It is quite an indictment that this country does not have the ability to get a more accurate grip of the scale of the problems being faced by thousands of our children and young people.

“In PAPYRUS, we know from our work in the community and through our HOPELineUK services that children are often at their wit’s end and many of them consider suicide, many try it and some die. Many parents and caregivers despair of the revolving door systems that they and their children are put through in services which are often over-stretched or no longer available. Today’s report is a real challenge to all of us. Suicide is the leading cause of death in young people -children too. Let’s ask why and do all we can to change it.”

Since the beginning of this year PAPYRUS has seen an unprecedented increase (double the same period last year) in contacts to its HOPELineUK support services from parents of younger teenagers and below, the youngest being just nine years.

“The mental wellbeing of young people is everyone’s business,” emphasises Ged Flynn.

In the UK nearly 100 children aged 10 to 14 took their own lives in the past decade, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics.

For confidential, practical suicide support and advice for young people and concerned others contact PAPYRUS HOPELineUK tel 0800 068 41 41 text 07786 209 697 email pat@papyrus-uk.org

Editorial contact for more information: Rosemary Vaux, PAPYRUS Press Office - tel 020 8943 5343, mobile 07792 72 62 41, pressoffice@papyrus-uk.org


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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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