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Wednesday, 29 November, 2000, 08:35 GMT
Call for 'suicide lessons'
Primary school children
Primary children "should be taught about self-esteem"
A mental health charity has called for primary school pupils to be given lessons in self-esteem to help reduce suicide levels among young people.

The Scottish Mental Health Foundation said it was concerned that the number of Scottish males killing themselves was rising.

Figures suggest that the number of men under 25 taking their own lives has more than doubled in the past decade.

Children at play
The charity wants problem solving skills to be taught
A charity spokeswoman said the latest official statistics showing 649 suicides in Scotland may not tell the whole story.

She said hundreds more incidents may be going unreported.

The foundation wants to address the perception it is not "cool" for men to seek help when upset or worried.

It says men grow up with a deep-seated aversion to asking for help.

The foundation wants to aid children by improving their self-confidence and helping them cope better with problems.

It also wants increased access to effective crisis services and better targeting of high risk groups such as young people, older people, those with mental health problems and prisoners.

Talking encouraged

The spokeswoman said: "We are looking to how best we can look at mental health in schools.

"What we're trying to do obviously is encourage everyone to talk about mental health, to make it okay and to do it at primary school level through helping boost self-esteem and improving coping skills.

"Our ideas follow on from a report that we brought out last year which said the mental health of young people should be given equal prominence to physical health."

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See also:

09 Oct 00 | Scotland
Alarming rise in suicide rate
06 Jul 00 | Health
Suicide 'linked to' the moon
13 Oct 99 | Health
Depression
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