‘Everyone’s better than me’
‘I’ll never be good at anything’
‘I’m not as clever as my friends’
‘Everyone hates me’
‘Other people at school tell me to die’
Lack of self-worth is driving increasing numbers of young people to thoughts of suicide, according to national charity PAPYRUS Prevention of Young Suicide. Young people need to be taught that good relationships with others start with their own self-care. PAPYRUS is calling for more general mental wellbeing sessions in schools and awareness by society in general, to help young people begin to build a positive self-relationship. As well as the basics – getting enough sleep and rest, fresh air and exercise, eating well – we need to teach young people how to deal with negative put-downs.
Contacts made with HOPELineUK helpline services last month increased by 130% over April last year. Lack of self-worth is now a dominant theme and increasing numbers of much younger callers (around 11 plus) say they are not good enough.
“We must all watch out for invitations from young people that say ‘I need help: please ask me how I am feeling’,” urges Ged Flynn, CEO of Papyrus. “Talking about suicide is not easy, but society needs to toughen up. Young suicide is everyone’s business. Talking about it does not make it more likely happen – and it can save young lives.”