Guide to help parents keep their children suicide and self-harm safe

A national suicide prevention charity has launched a new guide to help desperate parents who are worried about their children.

New help parents who are worried about their children and feel they have nowhere else to turn.
New help parents who are worried about their children and feel they have nowhere else to turn.

Papyrus Prevention of Young Suicide hopes to reach families in Scotland who feel powerless, with nowhere to turn.

The new guide, Supporting Your Child – Self-Harm and Suicide, offers practical and professional advice to help break the silence and encourages parents to talk to their children.

It was commissioned by the mother and father of a 15-year-old boy who took his own life, who were frustrated by the lack of information and resources available.

Ged Flynn, chief executive of Papyrus, said: “That family felt utterly helpless as they attended hospital prior to their son’s death.

“No parent should ever have to go through that and it was their heartfelt wish that a new resource be produced which is full of clear, evidence-based advice and vital information to help keep our children suicide-safe.”

Almost 40 per cent of calls, texts and emails to the charity’s Hopeline UK are from someone who is concerned about a young person having suicidal thoughts.

Those who struggled during lockdown now face longer-term emotional distress and are not getting support services they are used to.

Ged added: “Many mums and dads have been worried sick as their children have been unable to access support.

“As we gradually open society back up again some children remain on lengthy waiting lists for treatment and, as families wait, parents often fear for their lives.

“In my view, this is scandalous. Saving young lives is no longer a national priority and we must change that.”

Suicide is the biggest killer of young people in the UK.

For advice, call Hopeline UK on 0800 068 4141 or email [email protected]