More Than 30 Young People Could Kill Themselves Over Christmas In UK
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A charity has warned that more than 30 young people could commit suicide over the Christmas break in the UK.
New ONS statistics released last week show that 1,666 young people were lost to suicide in 2016 alone.
National charity PAPYRUS believes that the possible deaths over the holidays are wholly preventable and has released a one-minute campaign video to show that we can all make a difference.
In the clip, young actors wear large signs such as 'Death is my only option', 'I want to end it all', 'I'm going to end my life', and 'Suicide is the only answer' in a busy city centre.
During a total of 16 hours filming in two shopping areas, just 42 people stopped to help the young people or to offer support.
Many said they didn't know what to do or to say while others simply passed by.
PAPYRUS chief executive Ged Flynn encouraged everyone to check out the short film online.
Ged said: "In real life, young people don't wear large signs that tell you they want to die.
"Yet suicide is the leading cause of young death in the UK. Could you spot the signs the signs that a young person is thinking of suicide? I believe we often can.
"You don't have to be an expert to show your support for another person. PAPYRUS believes that everyone can help to save a young life.
"You don't need to know what to say; just stopping and showing that you care can go a long way, especially with our young people. Watch the film. It might help you to save a young life."
Before you go to bed tonight, please make sure the men in your life know it's ok to talk
(graphic by Paulo Estriga) pic.twitter.com/OrZJIKgWtD
- NHS Million (@NHSMillion) December 1, 2017
Student Louis Hall Dunleavy, 20, one of the actors who took part in the video, said: "The reactions I got varied.
"I have to admit that if it was me walking past I probably wouldn't have stopped. It made me realise how important it is to be open and help those in need."
While the charity said it welcomes the ONS report that shows an overall reduction in suicides in 2016, it is concerned that young suicide in the UK is at its highest for the past 10 years.
Suicide remains the main cause of death in young people under the age of 35.
If you are concerned about a young person this Christmas, visit PAPYRUS online to find information on how to 'spot the signs' and start a conversation with a young person.
'U OK M8?' is an initiative from LADbible in partnership with a range of mental health charities which features a series of films and stories to raise awareness of mental health.
Explore more here and don't suffer in silence. Reach out. It's the brave thing to do.
MIND: 0300 123 3393.
Samaritans: 116 123.
CALM: Outside London 0808 802 5858, inside London 0800 58 58 58.