TORFAEN AM Lynne Neagle has welcomed the publication of Welsh Government’s first ever suicide and self-harm guidance to support teachers.

The AM chairs the National Assembly’s Children, Young People and Education Committee, which called for the guidance to be issued in its landmark ‘Mind Over Matter’ report.

Ms Neagle said: “I think the guidance will make a real difference.

“We heard a lot of evidence during our Mind Over Matter inquiry that it was vital we do more to increase help seeking behaviour in young people.”

The new guidance is designed to provide teachers and professionals who regularly come into contact with young people a quick and accessible guide that focusses on early intervention and the safe management of self-harm and suicidal thoughts.


In launching the new guidance, Education Minister Kirsty Williams paid tribute to the work of the Children’s Committee in pushing Welsh Government to take action in the area of suicide prevention.

Ms Neagle said she would continue to push the Welsh Government to ensure a sensitive approach to suicide prevention becomes an everyday part of the school timetable.

She said: “Suicide is a difficult topic and one that, too often, crosses the mind of many young people, including school children.

“The latest figures from the Office of National Statistics show a marked increase in young people dying by suicide and a worrying increase in the number of girls dying by suicide.

“Suicide is preventable, which is why I am committed to raising awareness of suicide prevention. I really believe that, as a country, we must do all we can to intervene and stop preventable deaths.

“The tragic fact is that in 2017, some 226 school children across the UK lost their lives to suicide.

“That is why I am glad to welcome this new guidance and to hear the Minister say it is the first in a suite of new tools.

“I firmly believe that if we get this right for our children and young people, so many other things will fall into place.”