Exam stress and relationship breakdowns often 'final straws' in teenage suicides

Credit: PA

Exam stress and relationship breakdowns are often the "final straws" in teenage suicide cases, a report has found.

Researchers found that there was often not one single cause behind the majority of suicides of those aged between 10 and 20. Family problems such as drug use or domestic violence, bullying, and bereavement, were often behind the deaths with school pressures and relationships acting as the "final straw".

Between January 2014 and April 2015, 145 people under the age of 20 killed themselves. Researchers at the University of Manchester's National Confidential Inquiry into Suicide and Homicide by People with Mental Illness (NCISH) looked into 130 of these cases.

Five of the suicides were children aged under 14, 61 were aged between between 14 and 17, while 64 were aged between 17 and 20.

The report also found that more than half of those who killed themselves had previously self-harmed, while more than a quarter had expressed suicidal thoughts in the week before they died.

Improving self-harm services and access to Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services was "crucial" to addressing the issue of suicide in young people, the report's authors said.

Reacting to the research experts stressed the need for greater provision and improvement of mental health services.

If you are in distress or need some support, the Samaritans are available 24 hours a day on 08457 90 90 90 or visit their website.http://www.samaritans.org/how-we-can-help-you

For those in the Republic of Ireland, the number is 1850 60 90 90.