PAPYRUS opens West Midlands regional office

Strengthening community engagement in the West Midlands

On 10 September 2014, World Suicide Prevention Day, PAPYRUS Prevention of Young Suicide opened a West Midlands regional office in central Birmingham, located at The Big Peg. It was officially opened by the Lord Mayor of Birmingham, Councillor Shafique Shah (pictured), who welcomed the charity’s initiative.

In the UK suicide is the leading cause of death in young people – male and female - under 35. The West Midlands has one of highest regional rates. Here, as in the rest of the UK, suicide is often associated with stigma and is kept out of conversations. The charity believes it needs to be talked about not hidden, so that young people right across the West Midlands get the support they need.


“Suicide is a public health concern that affects families and communities alike,” said Ged Flynn, chief executive of PAPYRUS at the opening. “We believe that many young suicides are preventable but in order to avert future deaths we need to engage with people who are willing to talk openly about the issue, not hide it.

“We are delighted to have the support of the Lord Mayor. If young people in Birmingham and the West Midlands are to get the support they need we have to up our game as communities. PAPYRUS aims to raise awareness of the help it offers, raise the profile of young suicide and what we can all do to prevent it.

“By having a physical presence in the region we are strengthening our resources to build community support teams and forge suicide prevention networks and partnerships; working collaboratively to reach out to young people and their families. We are here to listen to what is keeping suicide a taboo subject and then, together, provide a new narrative to shatter the silence.”

The team in the West Midlands will be led by Mehrdad Nadershahi, PAPYRUS newly appointed regional development officer who will be based at the Birmingham office. For more information about our work in Birmingham and the West Midlands region, please contact us here.