As part of an ongoing partnership with Nottingham College that began in November last year, PAPYRUS staff and volunteers have joined hundreds of the colleges’ students to deliver PAPYRUS’ SPARK presentations spreading awareness, resources, and knowledge of suicide prevention.

In September 2023, PAPYRUS and Nottingham College formed a partnership to create a suicide-safer environment within the college community. The project commenced with PAPYRUS’s participation in the college’s Freshers Fair alongside various local support services. Since then, PAPYRUS has provided extensive materials to the college, conducted training sessions for its support staff, and actively shared resources and knowledge with students, all aimed at initiating conversations about suicide and bolstering essential awareness.

One brilliant way the college has worked with PAPYRUS was by delivering SPARK presentations to over 300 students. These sessions were led by a PAPYRUS volunteer, community development officer, and area manager on a rotational basis, and conducted within student groups. As students entered the room, they found PAPYRUS wristbands on their seats, setting the stage for an informative session about the charity’s mission and its efforts to combat suicide by spreading hope.

The presentation also included guidance on utilising the contact number provided on the wristbands to reach out to HOPELINE247. Six months following these presentations, students provided feedback to PAPYRUS, with one message highlighting:

“I believe that the PAPYRUS sessions helped me and everyone around to understand the impact suicide has on people and what can happen to individuals if they believe they have no one to talk to, PAPYRUS helped us understand there’s always someone there for you to talk to and there’s always things you can do to try prevent someone [taking their life] if you think someone is in a bad place.”

Suicide is the biggest killer of under 35s in the UK. As a suicide prevention charity, PAPYRUS understands the different pressures that young people are going through day-to-day and how important it is to raise awareness of our 24-hour helpline, HOPELINE247, so young people know there is always someone to reach out to for support during times of crisis.

Delivering these crucial presentations and providing resources is just one way PAPYRUS is working to support college students, another is by working with the staff at the college. Currently, future training is scheduled, student-led social action projects are being created and discussions about how staff and students can fundraise for PAPYRUS are taking place.

The Resolution Foundation recently released its report on the effect of poor mental health on employment outcomes, which highlighted that just 31% of students in post-16 settings had access to mental health support, yet we are seeing the biggest increase in common mental health disorders in young people aged 18-24 since 2000. It is clear there is a need for more support for young people, PAPYRUS’s work with Nottingham College aids the support of their students and helps to break down the stigma around suicide.

PAPYRUS offer a range of training courses to suit the needs of individuals, organisations and communities that aim to create suicide-safer communities. PAPYRUS courses are CPD-certified and offer an understanding of the impact of suicide. Nottingham College staff have begun undertaking the training and are working with us to further embed suicide prevention within the college to empower their staff and students to seek support. PAPYRUS training courses offer life-saving skills that apply to your professional and personal life. Together we can stop the biggest killer of under 35s.

If you would like to find out more about our training please follow the link here.

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