Young people who dread the festive period have been inundating a suicide prevention charity with calls.
The number of new clients using the telephone, text and email advice service HOPELineUK has risen by an average 33 per cent each week over the past couple of months.
Suicide remains the single most common cause of death in all young people under 35 in the UK. Around 1,600 young men and women took their lives last year.
Behind the statistic are countless more young people who are very sad, isolated or feel they cannot go on living.
Ged Flynn, chief executive of national charity PAPYRUS Prevention of Young Suicide, said: “Christmas and New Year can bring new pressures for us all but for young people who may already be experiencing unbearable uncertainty, it can be a very isolating time and can cause some to consider suicide. We must all take time to look out for any young adult whom we know who may be struggling. We should ask them about suicide. Any doubt: ask. It will not make suicide more likely but it will be a relief to someone who is struggling. You have given them permission to talk about it. If you are not sure what to say or how to introduce the subject, our helpline team is there to advise you too.”
Advisors working for HOPELine UK, the helpline service set up by PAPYRUS, hear a wide range of issues which young people feel are contributing to their thoughts of suicides. Living with illness, bullying, sexual and domestic abuse and eating disorders remain common themes.
Ged added: “PAPYRUS advisors are professionals who engage with young people and those worried about them. Our skilled interventions result in fewer referrals and reports to emergency services although we will get this help when a young life is in imminent danger.”
HOPELineUK can be contacted on 0800 068 41 41 text 07786 209 697 or email firstname.lastname@example.org