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Find out more about our work on exclusion and suicide risk.
In 2018 Samaritans Cymru published a report on the link between socioeconomic disadvantage and suicidal behaviour and how we can find a way forward in Wales. The connection between disadvantage and suicide is well evidenced, the question is what can we do to tackle it. Part of the answer lies in raising awareness among the many agencies who work with those experiencing both socioeconomic disadvantage and emotional distress.
We set out ten recommendations for Wales in our report, one of which concerned addressing the cost of exclusion from school. We recognised that exclusion from school is a significant issue which is linked to factors that increase the risk of suicide.
We wanted to explore this issue further and to engage with a range of informed individuals across Wales. In early 2019, we held a seminar which was attended by representatives from schools, local government, the health service, third sector organisations, universities and Welsh Commissioners.
Our latest report reflects their discussions and offers some points for consideration for next steps which can be taken in response to the issues which are emerging. Suicide is a complex issue and the actions of many individuals and agencies are required to reduce it. We need to know more about the situation of children and young people who are not in education, its impact on them and what works to address it. We also need to act now on what we do know.
We can learn from each other about what works to reduce exclusion, but the first step is to recognise the importance and great gain for individuals and society at large of doing this, particularly in acknowledging its links to inequality. If you’re out of school, you can be out of your only source of support and community. Excluding children from education can deny them of their life chances. There are consequences for us all. The first step is recognising the issue and collaborating to work out how we can go forward.
Our report is a contribution to this much needed debate, and we hope it will stimulate further thinking, understanding and action.