Watch out for vulnerable young people over the festivities, urges suicide charity

Runcorn and Widnes World: Ged Flynn, chief executive officer of Papyrus Ged Flynn, chief executive officer of Papyrus

YOUNG people are being urged to watch out for each other over Christmas and the New Year. Ged Flynn, aged 46, of Liverpool Road is chief executive officer of Papyrus, a national charity dedicated to the prevention of young suicide. He said: “Vulnerable young people can feel overcome by pressure to be happy at time of the year and this can push them further into a dark place of quite despair. “They may be acting the life and soul of the party but secretly feeling a mess. Alcohol and recreational drugs can add to existing low mood and cause young people who are at risk of suicide to act impulsively. “We tend to put our problems on the back burner at this time, hoping the break will bring solutions, but if you can’t see a future, nothing is resolved.” His comments follow the suicides of three young people who plunged to their death off the Silver Jubilee Bridge. Widnes schoolboy Lewis Millward, aged 13, from West Bank died in July, 2012. Trainee teacher Charlotte Stringman, aged 19, of Alfred Street, fell in 2010, at the exact spot where her cousin, Susan Bradshow, jumped four years earlier. In January, Papyrus receives around a third more calls to its national helpline than at other time of the year, from young people who feel they are not coping. Their trained professionals provide support and practical advice to young people worried about themselves and others concerned about them. Around 800 youngsters aged 15-24 take their own lives every year. If you have the slightest concern that you or a young person you know could be feeling suicidal, it is vital that you seek help. HOPELineUK, the Papyrus national helpline will be open throughout the holidays by phone 0800 068 41 41, text 07786 209 697 or e-mail pat@papyrus-uk.org It is confidential and anonymity is respected.

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