Suicides by young people peak in exam season, report finds

The Guardian reports that research backs fears of campaigners calling for reversal of cuts in counselling services at schools and universities.

Suicides among children and young adults peak at the beginning of exam season, it has emerged, adding to fears that pressure to get good results is harming their mental health.

In England and Wales on average, 96 people aged under 25 take their own lives every year in April and May, while the next highest number – 88 – do so in September, when new students start at university.

Stephen Habgood, the chairman of Papyrus, a charity that tries to prevent under-35s taking their own lives, said youth suicide was a devastating social phenomena.

Sarah Brennan, the chief executive of Young Minds added. “Ministers should rebalance the education system to ensure that students’ wellbeing is given as much priority as their academic performance,” 

Young people who have been bereaved need greater support to reduce the risk of them killing themselves, say the authors, who also want colleges and universities to give students’ psychological health a higher priority. Agencies who are meant to help young people are “poor” at recognising the risk of suicide among them, and need to improve, they add.

Read more Suicides by young people peak in exam season, report finds

So much pressure on students to perform academically yet who is looking out for their wellbeing? Could schools do more to prevent this? Let us know your thoughs here or via Twitter – Mercedes

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