TV star Tom urges young people to get help if depressed

Tom Milner
Tom Milner

HALIFAX-born TV actor Tom Milner has urged fellow young people to seek help if they feel they are sinking into despair.

The Waterloo Road and Holby City actor and singer/songwriter was speaking out in his new role as an ambassador to PAPYRUS, a national charity dedicated to preventing young suicide.

Tom, 20, said he was concerned by the alarming number of young people taking their lives.

He said: “We all feel down at times; yes life is a roller coaster ride. I’ve been there myself - one minute you are in the bright lights of television creating personal attention and there is a real positive buzz, everything’s going fine.

“Then the opposite side to that is when it’s not going so well and things seem to be negative.

“That’s when it’s easy to think no-one wants you and it can feel like a massive let down.

“But eventually things start to look up.

“The message I want to get out to young people like me is: if things aren’t working out please get help, don’t sink into despair.

“There are people out there who really do want to help us.”

PAPYRUS has a confidential national helpline for practical support and help, which doesn’t show up on a BT phone bill.

Ged Flynn, the charity’s chief executive, said: “We are delighted to have Tom’s support.

“It’s natural that young people are more likely to listen to their peers, than corporate-style messages from ‘above’ and Tom from his past roles has a great teen following - people we need to reach and learn from.

“Young suicide is a national scandal that we need to talk about in order to reduce stigma and make it OK to young people to seek help.”

Every year in the UK more than 2,100 young people under the age of 35 take their own lives.

In England and Wales, around 24,000 attempted suicides are made by 10 to 19 year olds - one every 20 minutes.

Although many are reached before it is too late, suicide remains the main cause of death in young males between the age of 18 and 24.

Anyone who wants help for themselves, or for a friend, can phone the confidential helpline HOPELine UK on 0800 0684141.