Today's news, tomorrow's lesson - On the edge? Overwhelmed? 'U Can Cope'

The Office of National Statistics estimates that each year in the UK twice as many people die by suicide as lose their lives in road traffic accidents.

Today's news, tomorrow's lesson - 10 September

On the edge? Overwhelmed? 'U Can Cope', says new campaign

When Linda Nolan lost her mother and husband at the same time as battling breast cancer, she struggled with suicidal thoughts.

Now the singer and actress, who credits the emotional support provided by The Samaritans as the factor that saved her life, is the narrator of a film launched for World Suicide Prevention Day featuring testimonials from a variety of men and women who have experienced suicidal feelings in the past.

The film U Can Cope is part of a "message of hope" sent out by a coalition of more than one hundred UK organisations – including mental health bodies, support networks and sporting associations – that suicidal feelings can be overcome.

The Office of National Statistics estimates that each year in the UK twice as many people die by suicide as lose their lives in road traffic accidents.

The aim of the film, according to Alys Cole-King, a psychiatrist and instigator of the U Can Cope campaign, is to highlight that anyone can experience suicidal thoughts, that there is always hope and that there is always help.

"Suicidal thoughts start because people feel overwhelmed by their problems or their situation and find it hard to 'see a way out'. It's not that they necessarily want their life to end, it's just that they cannot cope with their emotional or physical pain any more."

She continued: "However, no matter how desperate you feel, if you know where to get help and how to get help, you can get through the crisis."

The theme for this year's World Suicide Prevention Day is "Suicide Prevention across the Globe: Strengthening Protective Factors and Instilling Hope." The government has marked the day with a pledge to commit £1.5 million to research exploring suicide prevention among those most at risk of taking their own lives.

Find out more about the U Can Cope campaign here:

U Can Cope

Related resources

Suicide and The Samaritans

  • Get your students to consider the reasons why people may have suicidal feelings with this sensitive PowerPoint.

Sociology of Suicide presentation

  • This PowerPoint focuses on research into suicide and suicidal feelings with questions, pair activities, details on the research methods and evaluations.

Suicide: ethics

  • This discussion on ethics and religious views on suicide is framed by a case study of Nirvana's Kurt Cobain.

Stressed out

  • A lesson from the Go-Givers website helping children to recognise and deal with feelings of stress.

Further news resources

First News front page

  • Help your pupils understand the features of the front page of a newspaper.

Write all about it

  • Get students creating their own news report with this step-by-step guide.

What is the News?

  • A sociological and media perspective on what makes an event 'newsworthy'.

On the box

  • Help pupils to write their own TV news broadcast with this handy PowerPoint.

Structuring stories

  • A scheme of work to help students structure news stories.

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