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Last Updated: Tuesday, 24 October 2006, 01:41 GMT 02:41 UK
Schools sent teen emotion packs
Sugababes
Sugababes are among those backing the programme
Every secondary school in the UK and the Republic of Ireland is to receive a pack from Samaritans to help pupils deal with emotional knocks.

It follows research for the charity by Oxford University, which showed that one in 10 teenagers had self-harmed.

The DEAL (Developing Emotional Awareness and Learning) pack includes lesson plans and a DVD - designed to overcome the stigma of asking for help.

Pop group Sugababes are among those backing the programme.

Singer Heidi Range said: "Kids shouldn't feel it's stupid to ask for help and worry that they will be bullied if anybody finds out they have.

"Whoever they speak to should be approachable and able to listen confidentially to anything that's bothering them, without fear of being judged."

Expressing feelings

The programme was piloted in 10 schools before being rolled out nationwide.

Fran Long, head of personal learning and support at one of the pilot schools, Langley Park School for Girls in Beckenham, Kent, said: "This is an important issue which needs to be constantly revisited.

"We are not specialists and these are real issues. Having lots of easy materials to use is great."

Samaritans' research, done across 41 schools, found that more than half of teenagers did not know how to express their feelings.

The study also found that more than 40% of young people sought a friend's help before harming themselves.

'Brave face'

Also backing the project is Danny McNamara, lead singer of Embrace - the band behind England's 2006 World Cup song.

He features in the DVD, talking about his own emotional problems as a teenager - and how he turned to Samaritans for support.

"Everyone puts on a brave face when they have problems.

"Young people find it harder than anyone to ask for help - they're usually the last ones to ask for help when they need it."


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