World suicide prevention day – suicide is the biggest killer of under 35s

Over 70 suicide prevention and mental health groups join together today, Saturday September 10 across the UK to highlight how suicides can be prevented.

One in five people in the UK have suicidal thoughts, one in twenty will attempt suicide. It’s estimated in England and Wales, at least 140,000 people go to hospital each year having attempted suicide.

Suicide is preventable and not inevitable. That’s why on World Suicide Prevention Day, Grassroots Suicide Prevention, a UK leader in suicide prevention, is launching an online suicide prevention hub, including a section on understanding suicide. This includes potential warning signs to look for, suicide myths that create stigma and shame and how to talk to someone you are concerned about.

Their pioneering app called Stay Alive is recommended by the NHS for those experiencing suicidal thoughts or those concerned about loved ones who are thinking about suicide. It has been downloaded over half a million times. It has helped 76% of at-risk users stay safe from suicide and 80% of people using the app have supported someone else and said it helped them keep the person safe from suicide.

Ian Stringer, born in Blackpool and now BBC Leicester Sports Commentator used the app when he was struggling. He said: “The Stay Alive app is a life saver. This is not just a turn of phrase, but it actually saves lives of those who have thoughts of suicide.”

Around 135 people are affected to some degree by every person lost to suicide. It can devastate communities and have a lasting impact on loved ones left behind.  Grassroots has a free, online interactive film called Real Talk that helps people have those life-saving conversations.

Dr Lisa Edwards, a bereaved parent and Grassroots Suicide Prevention trustee said: “Suicide is the biggest killer of young people, both male and female, aged under 35 years in the UK. Not only does the person who dies by suicide lose their life, those who love them, family, and friends, are devastated too.

“When my 16-year-old son, David died by suicide, my life changed forever, I entered an abyss of grief.  My broken heart will never heal. Yet, suicide can be prevented but we still do not talk about it openly.

“Talking about suicide not only reduces the stigma, but also allows individuals to seek help, rethink their options. We know that having the right conversation with someone if they’re suicidal can protect them.”

Grassroots has trained over 50,000 people on mental health and suicide prevention. It trains over 300 organisations a year on mental health and suicide, including organisations like the British Army, Shelter, Waitrose, and the NHS. This year as part of World Suicide Prevention Day they are offering a FREE one-hour, online training to media professionals and journalists on how they can help prevent suicide.

Rachael Swann, CEO at Grassroots Suicide Prevention says, “What we know is that in most cases, suicide is not inevitable and can be prevented with timely intervention, and anyone can learn these life-saving skills. At Grassroots we are committed to supporting people and organisations to understand that their actions, however big or small, could bring hope to someone who is struggling and help save their life.”


Grassroots suicide prevention hub (in progress for World Suicide Prevention Day) includes suicide stats, real stories, myths, and potential warning signs. And you can watch free interactive training. The Stay Alive mobile phone app saves lives.

Grassroots is a national charity that offers resources, expertise and training to organisations, communities, and individuals around suicide prevention.