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A recent BBC news item reported that filmmaker Andrew Jenkins, 52, from Blaenau Gwent, says he has lost 19 friends to suicide over three decades and has spoken out so that other people might think twice about killing themselves.

He now plans to make an educational film about the issue. The piece also quoted Stephen Habgood, chairman of charity Papyrus which is concerned with young people’s suicides, who said 75% of people who took their own lives were young men and he expected to see an increase in suicides among middle aged men in the latest Office for National Statistics figures. "It’s all caught up with men unwilling to admit they can’t cope and are struggling. The recession raises concerns at the pressures it places on men, when their jobs or relationships are at risk as a consequence"

Psychiatrists say mental health problems are increasing in Spain too and the suicide rate is up since the financial crisis began.

Certain factors are known to be associated with increased risk of suicide including unemployment (nearly half of those under 30, almost 2 million people, cannot find a job) poverty, family breakdown, bullying and social isolation. The young fear that that they have no future in their own country and either have to move abroad or depend on family members who are themselves in difficulty.

According to RTVE ( official broadcaster on Spanish TV) suicide was second to cancer ( 15% of deaths) in the overall 25-34 age group and the leading cause of death in young men (17.8% ). One in three young people who take their lives are intoxicated at the time of death. Among the young , 80% of suicides are male, who feel possibly that they should be the stronger sex and men usually find it much more difficult to open up and talk about their problems.

Yet there is no need to suffer in silence……………….

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