By Shawna Healey
Content warning: contains discussion of suicide.
On January 10th, a group of 20 activists behind the campaign CrazyTall hung 20 dummies from London’s Westminster Bridge in an attempt to raise awareness of mental illness in young people. In 2017, 165 people between the ages of 10 and 19 took their own life, an increase of 29% compared to 2013.
The campaigners involved have said that they have all either contemplated or attempted suicide. Their hashtag #NotOneMore is being used to raise awareness of the protest, as well of the problem of mental illness in young people. One activist, Issac Rowan, tweeted: “As I held the dummy in my arms, and lowered it down on the bridge, I was overcome by the feeling that this could have easily been me, or one of my friends”.
As I held the dummy in my arms, and lowered it down on the bridge, I was overcome by the feeling that this could have easily been me, or one of my friends. https://t.co/aRrqFu0qlP I was featured in a piece on #NotOneMore @CrazyTalkUK's action today. #Trans #MentalHealthMatters pic.twitter.com/C1Qd5lPkZ1
— Isaac Rowan (@isaac_skrz) January 10, 2019
The BBC conducted a moving interview with the activists behind the stunt, including the CrazyTalk co-founder, Ajuub, in which he revealed that he attempted suicide three times before the age of 18, and is now calling for a greater focus on prevention in mental health services.
CrazyTalk are calling for the following reforms to public services:
- an improvement on the proposed four-week waiting times for “non urgent” cases
- the ability for young people to access youth services until they finish education, rather than when they turn 18
- access to therapists at school for every pupil that needs one