Preventing young suicide: a key priority for Wales

First Minister of Wales welcomes PAPYRUS Regional Office for Wales and applauds new Welsh language website

18 January 2020 – Mark Drakeford First Minister of Wales has officially opened the first Wales office of national UK charity PAPYRUS, which works to prevent young suicide.

Applauding the charity’s work and influence the First Minister said: “The invaluable work of PAPYRUS will provide a lifeline to young people at risk of suicide here in Wales. Suicide devastates families and communities. We’re discussing how we can help work more closely with PAPYRUS, to make sure no young person becomes a sorry statistic.”

The Minister was welcomed by Kate Heneghan, PAPYRUS Head of Wales, who highlighted the need to build a strong support hub that is Wales centric, for young people struggling with suicide. “We know that the more outreach work we do within our Welsh communities the more calls we receive to our helpline from young people struggling and from concerned others too, not knowing where to turn for support.

“According to the Office of National Statistics, in 2018 38 young people in Wales between the ages of 10 and 24 died by suicide. One is too many, 38 is a scandal and we are therefore delighted that the First Minister is here to support our suicide prevention work providing hope and help to young people struggling with thoughts of suicide, as well as those who are concerned about a young person they know.

“Last December we welcomed the new Public Health Wales report ‘Thematic Review  into deaths of children and young people through probable suicide 2013-2017’, which identified clear opportunities for suicide prevention. I reiterate my statement at that time, that PAPYRUS stands ready to support and influence this work. A key element will be the escalation of our suicide prevention training and support to schools, youth centres, emergency, police and custodial services, indeed all settings that come into contact with our vulnerable young people, as well as the wider community.

“To emphasise our commitment, I am proud to unveil today our new Welsh-language website, together with translations of our mental wellbeing and support materials for both young people and those who care for them.  Very soon we shall release a bilingual edition of our ‘Building Suicide-Safer Schools and Colleges’ guide for teachers and staff.”

Since 1997 when PAPYRUS was founded by a small group of parents in the North of England bereaved by suicide, the charity has been supported by people in Wales through fundraising activities and sharing their personal experience of young suicide. “We are committed to leveraging this goodwill to work with all our communities, to position Wales as a leader in the mental wellbeing of our young people and above all, to reduce young suicides by raising awareness that there is hope and there is help.

“Young suicides can be prevented. Minister we thank you for your support today and we look forward to working with you and your colleagues in this vital mission,” Kate Heneghan emphasised.

For practical, confidential suicide prevention help and advice contact PAPYRUS HOPELINEUK tel 0800 068 41 41 text 07860 039 967 email pat@papyrus-uk.org

Editor’s notes

PAPYRUS provides practical advice and support – how to cope, what to say and do – from trained mental health professionals, to young people and others concerned that a young person may be at risk of killing themselves.

Editorial contact for more information
Rosemary Vaux
PAPYRUS Press Office
tel 020 8943 5343
mobile 07799 863 321
pressoffice@papyrus-uk.org

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