Suicide is one of the leading causes of death among young people in the UK. Young men are at particular risk, with suicide being the most common cause of death in men under the age of 35. On World Suicide Prevention Day, BACP offer their support to the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP), and highlights the importance of counselling and psychotherapy as effective, proven treatments for tackling depression in young people.
Karen Cromarty, Senior Lead Advisor for Children and Young People for BACP, said:
"Pressures on children and young people, whatever they may be, can cause extremely high levels of stress, which often they don't want to burden family and friends with. Sometimes adolescents in particular just don't feel they can talk to those closest to them. However, it's important that these problems aren't "bottled up" and that young people are encouraged to share them with someone."
As part of our commitment, BACP has joined with more than one hundred UK organisations, including Connecting with People, the Royal College of Psychiatrists and the Samaritans, to spread the message that it is possible to overcome suicidal thoughts and feelings and that there are many resources available to help those who are struggling to cope.
A film called U Can Cope is launched today featuring a number of very strong, emotional and honest testimonials by people who, for very different reasons, had found themselves thinking suicide was the only option. They all sought help, however, and came to realise they were not alone, that it was a huge relief to talk to someone about their problems and that they could find new reasons for living. The film also highlights the importance of early intervention, showing the excellent work being carried out at the Zeb Centre for young people in Cornwall, which is having an immensely positive effect on young people in the local community.
BACP Chief Executive Laurie Clarke said:
"BACP is proud to support the U Can Cope campaign, which is a valuable message of hope for people who feel overwhelmed by their problems or situation, and feel that suicide is their only option. Early intervention is extremely useful in treating mental health problems, and if anxiety and depression are recognised early, and appropriate treatments are readily available, future problems can be avoided. BACP believes that all children and young people in secondary schools and universities should have access to professional, qualified counselling services within their educational establishment."
Karen Cromarty added:
"Research shows that, for many young people, talking to their school or university counsellor significantly lowers their levels of distress. We urge families and schools who spot early signs of emotional problems in children to suggest school or community counselling to them. A talk in confidence with a qualified professional can make the world of difference."
Counselling offers a safe, confidential place to talk about your life and anything that may be confusing, painful or uncomfortable. Talking with someone who is trained to listen attentively and to help you improve things can have an immensely positive effect on how you feel about yourself and your situation. Even if the problem itself can't be solved by counselling, counselling is likely to help you find ways to cope with the situation.
To find a therapist in your local area, consult BACP's Find a Therapist directory at http://www.itsgoodtotalk.org.uk/, ask your school or university if they have a counsellor, or try your GP to see what is available locally.
Watch the U Can Cope film: https://vimeo.com/48721158