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Psychological distress: one in five young people under the age of 14 are thinking about suicide, according to SOS Amitié



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The SOS Amité association recorded nearly 3.3 million calls last year, or 244,000 more than in 2021, according to its latest barometer. Another troubling finding is that the number of callers under the age of 14 has increased by 40%, and of these, 20% have expressed suicidal thoughts.

Epidemic, war in Ukraine, global warming, worry about the future… we live in a period that can be anxiety-provoking for many French people.

And if in the collective imagination child often rhymes with carelessness, the youngest seem more and more concerned and affected by this ambient gloom. A situation that can be exacerbated by the absence of friendly ears. Because yes, despite this ultra-connected society where young people are immersed in social networks, loneliness is gaining ground.

“The number of callers under the age of 14 has increased by 40%”

In any case, this is the terrible observation that the barometer of the SOS Friendship association has just delivered, published this Friday, May 12. The association, which recorded nearly 3.3 million calls last year, or 244,000 more than in 2021, notes that the other voice on the phone is increasingly young.

“From 2020 to 2022, the number of callers under the age of 14 has indeed increased by 40%”, observes the association which specifies that the majority of callers remain in “the age group of 45 to 64 years ” , 60% of whom are women.

“Relationship with their parents”

Contacted by France newsone of the association’s 1,800 volunteers explains that for “this age group in particular, I would say that the calls are shorter, denser. We will quickly address the subjects of ill-being. So there are will perhaps be less talking about the rain and the good weather. We go straight to the heart of the matter! It really requires being very, very concentrated.”

According to the report, the main reason for appeal of these young people concerns the “relationship with their parents”. And unsurprisingly, the Covid epidemic and its successive confinements also contributed to their psychological distress. An insulation that could have acted as a catalyst.

Thus, the association “recorded an increase in calls concerning incest, abuse or a feeling of loneliness” among the youngest. Other topics discussed, fear of the future linked to global warming and wars, omnipresent in the news.

20% of them need to express “suicidal thoughts”

The association also observes an increase in disease trends. For 20% of them, they need to express “suicidal ideas which are not necessarily accompanied by suicidal behavior such as scarification or anorexia”. In these cases, association can go beyond listening.

“We try to see with them if they have taken steps with their college or high school. We can direct them to 3114 (the national number for suicide prevention)”, says Ghislaine de Saignes, president of SOS Amitié. To France news.

Despite an increase in staff, Sos friendship deplores an insufficient number of volunteers. Out of 3,300,000 calls received in 2022, only 600,000 were picked up, which corresponds to a rate of calls taken of 18%, a figure France news.

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