National charity PAPYRUS Prevention of Young Suicide is appealing to young people to watch out for each other at the start of the New Year.
In January PAPYRUS receives around a third more calls to its national helpline than at other times of the year, from young people who feel they are not coping, the charity says.
"Vulnerable young people can feel overcome by pressure to be happy at this time of the year and this can push them further into a dark place of quiet despair," says Ged Flynn, PAPYRUS chief executive. "They may be acting the life and soul of the party but secretly feeling a mess. Alcohol and recreational drugs can add to existing low mood and cause young people who are at risk of suicide to act impulsively.
"We tend to put our problems on the 'back burner' at this time, hoping the break will bring solutions, but if you can't see a future, nothing is resolved."
The charity says that suicide is not the inevitable result of feeling suicidal, “so if you have the slightest concern that you or a young person you know could be feeling suicidal it is vital that you seek help.