Here at PAPYRUS we are proud to work with faith communities to reach out to young people in their communities who might be struggling with thoughts of suicide. For #WorldReligionDay we’ve asked some of our supporters and partners to reflect on this work and how they feel it has helped people of faith.

Sumanjit K Johal, Co-founder of ArtSikh:

“On Sunday 31st March 2019 Art Sikh, working with the Sikh Education Forum at the Ramgarhia Sikh Temple, Birmingham hosted an event in support of raising awareness of mental health amongst the local Punjabi community and wider communities. Art Sikh curated an art exhibition on mental health issues and wellbeing. The exhibition also had elements of spirituality and mindfulness, exploring narratives that faith can play on a person’s mental wellbeing. Various organisations including PAPYRUS attended and promoted the great work they do by setting up information stalls and their representatives delivering informative talks about how the public can access their services. Various organisations had the opportunity to be able to network with each other and explore avenues of working together to tackle mental health issues faced by all communities. PAPYRUS were one of the key organisations that took advantage of this opportunity to work with other organisations from the Asian communities and develop training programmes to continue the initiative further.”

Greg Cook, School Chaplain, Latymer Upper School, London:

“Many of the great world faiths teach us that we are all sacred and special beings, wonderfully and fearfully made and richly blessed by divine love. I was privileged to attend a session with PAPYRUS and be trained on how to spot the signs of suicide. They are doing vital work in saving lives and reminding all of us how precious every single human being is. I admire their non-judgemental approach and willingness to work with organisations within their existing structures to advise and guide them on how to deal with the silent killer of suicide. I lost a close religious friend who took their own life and I believe that any faith organisation would hugely benefit from their vital and invaluable help.”

Ayalla Hoffner, The Supper Club:

“PAPYRUS delivered a friendly, honest and open presentation sparking important dialogue amongst our attendees about the subject of young suicide. We chose to approach PAPYRUS as they were flexible with their timings (we run our group on a Sunday evening) and they have previous links to the wider Jewish community in Manchester. Following the PAPYRUS presentation we have found it much easier to engage with our attendees when discussing these issues.”

Sarah Hollingdale, Activity Officer, Eastern Cloisters Project at Hereford Cathedral:

“We are pleased to be working with PAPYRUS to help raise awareness within our local community of the support which is available to prevent young people from taking their own lives. Last year, during research for our Eastern Cloisters Project (supported by National Lottery Heritage Fund) we discovered that a member of our Vicars Choral had taken his own life in 1882. This discovery prompted a lot of discussion within our team about personal experiences of suicide and its impact on our community today. Later, on the same day, a member of our chaplaincy team brought in a leaflet about PAPYRUS and it seemed fitting that we should get in contact to find out more. This year we will be sharing the work of PAPYRUS with our front-facing staff members and volunteers as well as welcoming members of the charity to join us for a lecture in the Autumn.”

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