Preventing suicide in under 30s ‘has to be’ priority

Adam Connolly was found dead in November
Adam Connolly was found dead on 17 November

The Government says preventing suicide amongst under 30s has to be a 'high priority'.

The Minister for Care and Support, Norman Lamb, said it wasn't acceptable so many young people were taking their own lives.

In 2011, the number of men and women under 30 in the UK who killed themselves hit a nine year high.

Mr Lamb said: "We have a complete responsibility to reduce the number of people taking their own lives.

"One suicide is one too many. It's this awful sense of the torment they must go through which means we have to give this a high priority."

It remains the biggest single killer of men in the 15 to 29 year old age bracket.

Juliette's story

Last November, 29-year-old Adam Connolly was found dead after going missing from his home in Hackney, east London.

Adam's girlfriend, Juliette Hughes, said he only revealed his battle with depression a couple of days before he went missing.

"He's got quite a strong mind," she said. "He doesn't really complain about being ill or anything like that so to say you've got a really sensitive personal problem is a big deal I think.

"After he went missing we found that he'd been looking at suicide methods as well as places nearby. Put the two together and it doesn't look good."

Adam's body was found on Hackney Marshes, four days after he went missing.

"I feel it's quite surprising that the awareness of it hasn't been brought to people's attention more by the Government," she said.

"I've never seen an ad campaign even for awareness of depression or suicide or anything like that. Maybe if that was the case we'd know of signs to look out for."

Jack Savidge from Friendly Fires
Jack Savidge from Friendly Fires was Adam Connolly's flatmate

Adam's flatmate was Jack Savidge, the drummer in Friendly Fires.

"It was terribly out of character for him to be away. He's a dependable guy."

Suicide prevention

The Department of Health launched a suicide prevention strategy last year.

One of its objectives was to identify those most at risk of harming themselves.

However, Roz Beechan, a therapist at the Maytree, a north London based charity to help people having suicidal thoughts, said the issue was still being massively underplayed in society.

"It's underplayed in so many areas and it affects so many people," she said. "The fallout of one suicide is massive to the family and friends around, as well as the great sadness someone wasn't able to be helped."

Between 2010 and 2011, there was a 10 per cent increase in the number of men between 15 and 29 who killed themselves.

"They [men] don't necessarily talk to their friends about it so I think they push it down," said Roz. "They just don't know who to turn to sometimes."

In 2011, the deaths of 1103 men and women were classified as suicide, the highest number since 2002.

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