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10-07-19

Schoolchildren leave moving notes at tram stop after witnessing man attempting to commit suicide

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Schoolchildren have placed individual messages of support around a Metrolink station as they work to prevent suicide.

Students from Prestwich Arts College were at the nearby Metrolink stop when they recently witnessed a man step in front of a tram.

Though he survived, the youngsters were shaken and keen to find out how they could have helped.

Their concerns sparked a joint ‘suicide prevention’ project with Metrolink staff to create handwritten tags featuring messages to anyone who may be feeling low or suicidal.

The messages - written by hundreds of Year 7, 8 and 9 children - give advice on how people can seek help.

School counsellor Lauren Gordon told the M.E.N that she ‘could not be more proud’ of how the children dealt with the project.

“It’s really important for children to have mental health awareness anyway,” she says.

“We work to develop children as a whole so they know how to look after themselves.

“A couple of months ago someone jumped in front of a tram at Prestwich Metrolink Station and a few of the students saw it. They worked with staff at the school and they were asking ‘what could we have done?’ and ‘could we have done something to help?’.

 “That’s when we developed this idea. The messages include the Samaritans number and things like that.

“It gave the children a chance to think about what they would say to someone in that position. Things like ‘your life matters’ and ‘suicide doesn’t stop the pain’.”

She adds: “We couldn’t have been any prouder with the way the students have been mature in handling this project.

“I was amazed at how involved they were and their messages when I was reading them.

“The support for the children from the local community has been amazing - it’s been quite overwhelming.”

Headteacher Rachel Evans said the project has made her very proud of the students.

She says: “Young people get such a bad press a lot of the time, it’s been a privilege to work with these pupils at Prestwich, they remind us that our young people are kind, caring and want to support their community. I am very proud of the work they have done.”

Source: Manchester Evening News