The Manchester Report on Suicides in Children and young people in the UK published earlier this month states that 201 people aged between 10 and 19 killed themselves in 2014 in the UK, up from 179 in 2013 by 12%. The ONS (Office of National Statistics) figures suggest that student suicides have risen to their highest level since 2007.
The BBC reported a synopsis of the report, highlighting that this is the first time experts have studied the contributory factors on this scale. Their findings showed:
- 36% had a physical health condition such as acne or asthma
- 29% were facing exams or exam results; four died on an exam day or the day after
- 28% had been bereaved
- 22% had been bullied, mostly face to face.
The study also found that 23% had used the internet in relation to suicide – including searching for methods or posting suicidal thoughts.
“I think the numbers are the tip of the iceberg,” says Ged Flynn, chief executive of Papyrus, an anti-suicide charity. “I think the pressure on young people in increasing. Peer pressure – from family, teachers and friends – has always been there, but it does seem to be increasing. And the need to be liked, the need to be popular, the need to be happy, is fairly universal. And it’s unrealistic.” Hopeline UK, has seen a large rise in contacts from young people and parents in recent years, quadrupling since 2013. It says that most of the calls, texts and emails it receives relate to exam stresses.
This little news clip from 5 News summarises the findings. Of the 20 minutes they interviewed me for, about 20 seconds was telecast. Of the 3 warning signs I mentioned, only 1 was included. Well. I suppose something is better than nothing. At least they are talking about it.