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Many young people say they often feel lonely and that it's difficult to get the help and support they need.
Around 200 young people die by suicide every year. Our report investigates the relationship between loneliness and suicide in young people, and if or how they may be connected.
We spoke to young people across England. Most of them told us that their loneliness played a role in causing their suicidal thoughts.
Worryingly, many of them said they didn’t feel able to ask for help with loneliness because of the stigma around it. And when people did ask for help, it often wasn’t available or suitable for their needs.
There is rarely one reason for a person to feel suicidal. Just as with suicide, loneliness is complex – it is a personal experience that's different for every person. Nevertheless, we found that, across the population, there is an association between suicide and loneliness.
We need to listen to what young people are telling us: many of them are struggling with loneliness. Loneliness can be a serious health issue; preventing it could be an important part of suicide prevention.
We’re calling on the UK Government to:
- Set out ambitious targets across their plans to improve wellbeing in young people, including tackling loneliness.
- Roll out national campaigns to tackle stigma that young people are experiencing around loneliness.
- Increase public health funding for loneliness and ensure this is directed towards services that help young people connect with their communities.