Last week, the Office of National Statistics released its report on suicide rates in the United Kingdom.
It should have been headline news; because it contained heartbreaking figures, that after many years of declining suicide rates, 2018 saw them increase to the highest level they’d been for seventeen years.
There were 6,507 lives lost to suicide last year, a rise of 11% since the previous year affecting mainly middle aged men and young people under twenty-five. Suicide remains the leading cause of death in young people.
The statistics seem to give little hope this year; and yet we can choose to make them a wake up call.
So this year we are going to focus on young people, who have demonstrated the biggest rise in suicide over the past year with suicide in young women reaching its highest ever levels.
We want to raise the volume, speaking of suicide in young people so that we can speak hope to those who are hopeless.
We want to raise hope for young people using Paul’s encouragement to Timothy 1.
“I remember you in my prayers night and day, greatly desiring to see you, being mindful of your tears, that I may be filled with joy...For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”
We want to remember the tears of young people, and point them to the power, love and sound mind promised to us by God. So our blogs this week will focus on how we can encourage these things in our young people when they are struggling.
Please join our #SpeakofSuicide campaign, tweet us, share our images on instagram and facebook and get in touch with your own encouragements, letting us know what you’re doing for your young people.