Government must empower young people to beat loneliness, Samaritans CEO tells MPs

Giving young people the confidence to overcome loneliness is a crucial part of suicide prevention, Samaritans CEO Ruth Sutherland will tell MPs and Peers at a parliamentary reception today.

“Nearly 1600 young people aged 35 and under* took their lives in the UK in 2017, and they are also reporting higher levels of loneliness than other age groups. We urgently need to put measures in place to make communities friendlier places and reduce stigma,” Ruth will say in her speech.

“Again and again when speaking to young people across the country they told us that loneliness played a role in their thoughts of suicide. We estimate one in ten young people said they felt lonely on a regular basis.”

 “The Government must take urgent action to save young lives, including tackling loneliness. We need ambitious new targets to improve young people’s wellbeing, as well as a nation-wide public campaign to tackle the stigma many young people are facing from loneliness.”

“Right now, too many young people don’t feel they can get the help they need, when they need it - every young person needs to know it’s OK to ask for help and that someone will listen,” Ruth will say.

 MPs attending the event will include suicide prevention minister Jackie Doyle-Price.

Picture caption: Campaigning: Samaritans CEO Ruth Sutherland, who is speaking at the reception

For more information, please contact Samaritans Media Team on 0208 394 8348 or email press@samaritans.org

ENDS

Notes for Editors

*ONS Suicide statistics report 2017

  • Anyone can contact Samaritans any time for free from any phone on 116 123. This number is free to call and will not show up on your phone bill. Or email jo@samaritans.org or go to www.samaritans.org to find details of your local branch where you can talk to one of our trained volunteers face to face.
  • Samaritans responds to more than 5 million calls for help a year.
  • Samaritans is a charity and it’s the public’s kind donations and more than 20,000 trained volunteers that mean we are always there for anyone struggling to cope.  Your money or your time could save a life. Find out how you can support us: http://www.samaritans.org/support-us