Watchfulness is key in tackling the youth suicide rate | Letters

School students taking their exams. Photograph: David Davies/PA

Research showing that suicides by young people peak in the exam season is one reason for our growing concern about the high levels of suicide in this age group (Peak in youth suicides at start of annual exam period is revealed, 13 July). The same study shows a link between self-harm and suicide, with almost half of the suicides examined revealing earlier self-harm.

Sane’s four-year, Big Lottery-funded research into suicide prevention showed what can be more easily overlooked are the signs of mental exhaustion – a weariness of the struggle with feelings of severe depression or anxiety.

Parents, teachers and others need to be aware of warnings such as self-harm, but also the more difficult-to-identify risks posed to a young person who appears increasingly tired and withdrawn.
Marjorie Wallace
Chief executive, Sane

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