Unaccompanied children driven to suicide due to 'gaps in support' from UK, charities warn

A letter addressed to the UK home secretary from 45 NGOs – including Unicef, the Children’s Society and the NSPCC – has expressed “extreme concern” about the rate of self-harm and suicide among unaccompanied minors in the UK, according to this article from the Independent. "Thousands of children who arrived in Britain alone, often following perilous journeys, are experiencing severe mental health issues due to 'gaps in statutory support' provided to them, which is some cases has led them to take their own lives," says the article. The letter calls for the introduction of a "scheme of independent legal guardians” which "allocates each child an advocate who would be able to instruct solicitors on their behalf and represent their interests."

“A scheme of independent legal guardians could help to safeguard and significantly improve the well-being of separated children, as well as helping to achieve better-coordinated, long-term cost savings for statutory services," says the letter.