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New analysis of Office for National Statistics data has found that suicide rates among 15 to 19-year-olds is climbing, with youth mental health charity YoungMinds now calling for urgent government support to address this growing crisis.

It was found that suicide rates among this demographic rose by 35 per cent between 2020 and 2021. Last year, 198 young people in this age group died by suicide (up from the 147 the year previous), which is the highest the number has been in more than 30 years.

NHS data also shows that the highest ever number of referrals to Child and Adolescent Health Services is due to be recorded this year, with 23 per cent of under-18s requiring treatment than at this time in 2021.

Commenting on the findings, Emma Thomas – chief executive of YoungMinds – observed that they “paint a shocking picture of the state of young people’s mental health in this country. This cannot go on. Government must get a grip of the situation.”

She went on to say: “This is why we are calling for more resources for the NHS, so young people, particularly those in crisis, can access help quickly, and dedicated mental health support in every school. We want ring-fenced funding for schools so they can better support the thousands of young people who are struggling right now.”

Further research from the charity shows that 26 per cent of young people under the age of 25 said they had tried to take their own life as a result of having to wait for mental health treatment or support. Some 44 per cent had to wait more than a month for support, while nine per cent of young people were turned away.


Interested in bereavement research? Get in touch with Suicide Bereavement UK to find out more.