With student suicide rates hitting new heights, the Samaritans are here to help those in need

Suicide is the biggest killer of young people aged 20 to 34

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“Our vision is that fewer people die by suicide, but you don’t have to be suicidal to phone us”, a volunteer for Samaritans told The Tab. “Whatever you’re going through, call us free anytime, from any phone, on 116 123”.

In May 2016, the BBC reported that suicide rates amongst students in England and Wales had reached their highest point since at least 2007 – with 130 suicides recorded amongst full-time students across universities in England and Wales in 2014.

That figure had increased by 30%, from 100 in 2013.

A report published by York University this year detailed that cases of mental ill-health were up, with universities across Britain reporting a “noticeable” increase in complex mental health crises in 2015 as opposed to previous years. In 2015, York University reported nearly 50 ambulance call-outs related to self-harm or suicide attempts, and they claim the figure is similar at other British institutions.

Also in May, the University of Manchester published a report which found that more than half of young people who had committed suicide between January and April (a period largely acknowledged to be particularly difficult for students, and where the majority of student suicides occur) had previously self-harmed.

Suicide is the biggest killer of young people aged 20 to 34.

January exams, Blue Monday (the third Monday of every January, largely credited with being the most depressing day of the year) and the January-April period within which the majority of student suicides occur all loom ahead. Samaritans have reached out to The Tab Newcastle to offer a helping hand and a shoulder to cry on for students entering this difficult period.

A Samaritan who volunteers at the Manchester branch is concerned that not enough students are aware of what Samaritans offer. She told The Tab: “We offer a completely confidential service. When you phone us, it’s free – and it doesn’t appear on your phone bill.”

Samaritans can be contacted by free by phone on 116 123, by text on 07725 909090, or by email at [email protected].

You can also call in to your local branch to speak to a Samaritan in person, near Jesmond Metro, at the bottom of Osborne Road:

15 Portland Terrace,

Jesmond, Newcastle