Campaign to reduce teen suicides

York Press: Ged Flynn Ged Flynn

A CHARITY which works to prevent suicide among young people has urged residents in North Yorkshire to watch out for each other over the festive period.

Each January, Papyrus receives about a third more calls to its national helpline than at any other time of the year, from young people who feel they are not coping, and suicide remains the main cause of death in people under 35.

Ged Flynn, Papyrus’s chief executive, urged young people particularly to remember that “suicide is not the inevitable result of feeling suicidal”, and encouraged anyone who had concerns about someone they knew to contact them.

Mr Flynn said: “Vulnerable young people can feel overcome by pressure to be happy at this time of the year and this can push them further into a dark place of quiet despair.

“They may be acting the life and soul of the party but secretly feeling a mess. Alcohol and recreational drugs can add to existing low mood and cause young people who are at risk of suicide to act impulsively.

“We tend to put our problems on the back burner at this time, hoping the break will bring solutions, but if you can’t see a future, nothing is resolved.”

Between 600 and 800 people between the ages of 15 and 24 take their own lives in the UK each year – the equivalent to the population of a small secondary school. Under the age of 35, the number rises to more than 1,600, mainly young men – the equivalent of three to four each day – and in England and Wales alone there are about 24,000 attempted suicides made by ten to 19-year-olds each year – approximately one every 20 minutes.

The charity uses trained professionals to provide practical help and support to anyone concerned about someone, and all calls are confidential and anonymous.

To find out how to donate to the charity, or how you can help the organisation, go to papyrus-uk.org

• HOPELineUK, the Papyrus national helpline, will be open throughout the holidays by phone on 0800 068 41 41, text 07786 209697 or by email pat@papyrus-uk.org

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