'Take Young People’s Mental Health Seriously' says Samaritans

Commenting on today’s major report Suicide by children and young people in England, a report by the National Confidential Inquiry into Suicide and Homicide by People with Mental Health Issues (May 2016) Samaritans’ Head of External Affairs Jacqui Morrissey says  :

“The death of children and young people by suicide is a devastating tragedy and one that must be prevented.  Samaritans welcomes this report as a wake-up call to take young people’s emotional wellbeing seriously.

“From the report, Samaritans is concerned that in the majority of cases there were clear warning signs that the young person was struggling to cope, 54% had reported previous self-harm, 28% had been bereaved, 39% had been diagnosed with a mental illness and 57% had expressed suicidal feelings.

“When  someone  who has self-harmed presents at A&E, current guidelines state that they should receive a ‘psychosocial assessment’ , involving an evaluation of the social, psychological and motivational factors as well as current suicidal intent.  However people’s experiences are thought to vary across the country and too many are discharged without a proper assessment.

“The message is clear, we need to make sure that the right support is in place for all young people, that all parents, carers and teachers understand about suicide risk and that young people are equipped to look after their emotional wellbeing before life’s pressures become overwhelming.

“Samaritans’ work supporting teachers encourages young people to know where to go and seek help when dealing with overwhelming thoughts and feelings. When academic pressures or relationship and family stresses can seem too much, young people need to have coping strategies to deal with those stresses in a constructive way, and be encouraged to talk about how they feel.

“Suicide is complex. Growing up is complex. If you’re a parent, a carer, a friend or a teacher concerned about a child or young person’s emotional wellbeing, contact a GP, speak to each other, share concerns and make sure that young person gets the appropriate support. “

For further information, please contact Lynsey Pollard, Head of Press and PR at Samaritans E:l.pollard@samaritans.org , T: 020 8394 8342

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Notes to editors

  • You don’t have to be suicidal to call us. Whatever you’re going through, call us free any time from any phone on 116 123 (this number is FREE to call and will not appear on your phone bill), emailjo@samaritans.org, or visit www.samaritans.org to find details of your nearest branch.
  • It’s the public’s kind donations and more than 21,000 trained volunteers that mean Samaritans is always there for anyone struggling to cope.  Find out how you can support us:http://www.samaritans.org/support-us
  • To speak to a Samaritans’ Head of External Affairs Jacqui Morrissey call Lynsey Pollard, Head of Press and PR at Samaritans E:l.pollard@samaritans.org , T: 020 8394 8342
  • To find out more about Samaritans’ work in schools, visit Samaritans’ DEAL webpagehttp://bit.ly/1LkCjJv
  • For information on today’s report Suicide by children and young people in England, a report by the National Confidential Inquiry into Suicide and Homicide by People with Mental Health Issues (May 2016) contact media.relations@manchester.ac.uk