Choose Life in Angus and Dundee will be active during Suicide Prevention Week (September 5 to 11), encouraging people to watch out for signs that someone they know might be feeling suicidal, invite that person to talk to them about how they are feeling and – crucially – ask them directly if they are feeling suicidal.
Every day, around two people take their own lives in Scotland and it is the leading cause of death for young people.
Last year, 14 people in Angus and 23 people In Dundee lost their lives to suicide, leaving a lasting impact on families and friends.
Gail Forrest, Choose Life co-ordinator for Angus and Dundee said:“It’s important that if you have the slightest inclination that someone you know might be having thoughts of suicide, you ask them about it.
“Suicide can affect anyone and it’s not a subject that should be hidden. You don’t need to have an answer to their problems – just be there for them, try to listen carefully without judging, and show that you care.”
During Suicide Prevention Week the message ‘Suicide. Don’t hide it. Talk about it’ will be taken out to communities in Angus and Dundee.
The week’s activities to enforce the message are supported by Dundee City Council, Angus Council and NHS Tayside.
Local action planned includes:-
Working in partnership with Dundee United and Brechin City Football clubs to highlight World Suicide Prevention Day at their home games on Saturday, September 10.
Both teams and their opponents Rangers FC and Forfar Athletic FC have agreed to their players wearing a choose life t-shirt during the pre match warm up.
Information will also be available in the match day programmes and announcements will be made before the game and at half time.
Specifically designed information cards, using the Dundee United Football Club team photo will be handed out by Choose Life volunteers and offenders undertaking Community Payback to spectators prior to the game.
Working with the Best Bar None scheme in Angus and Dundee and providing all current accredited premises with beer mats, posters and key message cards.
Staff working for Angus Council, Dundee City Council and NHS Tayside have been given information on suicide prevention either through their payslips or all staff emails.
Youth Bites and the Big Bus, the designated youth buses in Angus and Dundee, will have a supply of resources for the young people and The Corner in Dundee will be running specific health drop ins.
An awareness stand will be in place at Ninewells Hospital for the duration of Suicide Prevention Week
Information will go on display at bus stances, certain leisure centres and health information points across the area.
Gail Forrest says: “If you are feeling suicidal or suspect that someone you know is considering suicide, contact Samaritans on 08457 90 90 90 (24 hours) or Breathing Space on 0800 83 85 87 Mon-Thurs (6pm-2am; weekends Fri 6pm-Mon 6am), or visit www.chooselife.net