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Papyrus National UK Charity

What we do

  • Provide confidential help and advice to young people and anyone worried about a young person.
  • Help others to prevent young suicide by working with and training professionals.
  • Campaign and influence national policy.

Suicide is a difficult topic and one that hopefully never impacts your school community. The reality, however, is that it does cross the minds of many young people, including schoolchildren. In fact, suicide is the leading cause of death among young people and in pupils the numbers are alarmingly high. Over 200 schoolchildren are lost to suicide every year in the UK.

PAPYRUS is the national charity dedicated to preventing suicide among young people, an unimaginable loss for families. PAPYRUS strongly believes that many young suicides are preventable and want to reach out to you to help ensure that your school or college can be as ready as possible to prevent a suicide in your community. 

Special things to consider when a someone in your school/college is thought to have taken their own life.

Hearing the tragic news that one of your pupils has taken their own life will bring up many different emotions for you, and this will likely be a difficult time for the entire school/college community and beyond. You might be feeling: upset, shocked, angry, guilty or numb – all of these responses are normal reactions to a traumatic event such as suicide.   

Immediate actions:

1: Communicate the same information to all students and ideally at the same time to prevent news being passed on without support


  • Provide Relevant facts about the death but not the details
  • Explain normal responses to news about student deaths
  • Encourage support for each other and advice to flag if anyone has concerns about other students
  • Encourage positive ways of managing stress or distress
  • Let students know what support is available from the school and elsewhere
  • Debrief at the end of each day (Talk about how the day has gone, what went well, and what may have been difficult. You may want to raise concerns about some of the students and their responses so the whole team are aware.)

Don't talk about the method the student used to end their life

2: Identify those at greatest risk from the event:

Students who were in the same class, friendship group as the pupil who died, close friends, and those (including staff) who found the body.

Students and staff who have pre-existing mental health problems, a history of self-harm or other experiences of bereavement,

Unfortunately, people who have lost someone to suicide are at an increased risk of suicide themselves. 

Creating a suicide safer community

Talking about suicide does not create or increase the risk.  Endeavouring to ensure that all staff and students are suicide aware builds resilience. This includes how to spot signs, what to do and how to escalate any concerns.    

PAPYRUS run a national helpline HOPELINEUK for young people who struggle with thoughts of suicide, and concerned others. They also run training and awareness raising sessions on young suicide and how to help.

Who to contact


Where to go

Lineva House
28-32 Milner Street
Last updated: 04/01/2021
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