Calls for suicide prevention in schools grows after 2021 Samaritans data is released

Written by on 14th December 2022

A petition for making suicide prevention a compulsory part of the school curriculum has reached over 100,000 signatures in the UK – with 531 from Middlesbrough. 

In 2021, Samaritans recorded 5,219 suicides in the UK, with 74% of them being men. According to Samaritans statistics, males are 2.9 times more likely to die by suicide in England than females. 

This has led to an increase in calls to make suicide prevention a compulsory part of the UK’s school curriculum. 

Colin Young, a spokesperson from the mental health charity If U Care Share said: “One of the things we believe in is mental health should be on the school curriculum”. 

He also stated that: “there is a massive gap of discrepancy” as “physical education is on the curriculum but not mental health education.” 

Ryan Tooth, the head of PE at Nunthorpe Academy in Middlesbrough echoed his views: “Suicide prevention could certainly be something that is made compulsory within the curriculum. As we cover a lot of informative topics during the tutor programme already, it wouldn’t be difficult to integrate.” 

However, Tooth did say: “The only thing we need to consider is being considerate to staff and students who have been affected by family members and loved ones who have committed suicide.” 

He finalised his opinion by adding: “It would be great to offer appropriate provision in the hope it could have a positive impact on the school and the wider community.” 

Poppy Stanton, 18, a student from Nunthorpe Academy, believes “the increase in social media and availability of drugs and alcohol” could contribute to poor mental health, “especially with males.” 

She further added: “Suicide prevention should become part of the curriculum so more people know about it.” 

Further information on suicide prevention can be found on the Samaritans website – 

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