Forfar Athletic raise suicide awareness

FORFAR Athletic is just one of many football clubs in Angus and Dundee keen to do their bit during Suicide Prevention Week between September 10 and 16.

For this year’s campaign the charity ‘Choose Life’ are hoping to get the message out that if you can read between the lines then you can save lives with the help of many local organisations including football clubs.

Working with the Station Park men, are Arbroath and Dundee United. Awareness of suicide prevention will be raised at home games during Suicide Prevention Week.

Information will be available in the matchday programmes and announcements will be made before the game and at half-time. Helpline cards will be handed out by Choose Life volunteers and offenders undertaking Community Payback to spectators prior to the game.

Meanwhile, specially designed advertising boards have been erected at Forfar, Arbroath and Brechin City to promote the suicide prevention message and helpline numbers.

Last year, 14 people in Angus and 19 people in Dundee took their own lives, leaving a lasting impact on families, friends and communities.

So, ‘Choose Life’ is tackling this by calling on everyone to be alert to the warning signs of suicide in people close to them.

The campaign acknowledges that signs of suicide can be ambiguous, but encourages people to take all signs of distress seriously, even if the person seems to be living a normal life. It also aims to assure people that asking a person about what’s troubling them can make a positive difference.

Gail Forrest, Choose Life co-ordinator for Angus and Dundee said: “You tend to know when someone close to you isn’t quite themselves. So if you notice any changes in their behaviour that worry you – even if the signs come and go – ask them about it.

“You’ll find that talking can help a person get clarity about what it is that’s troubling them, and often gives a sense of perspective. Starting a conversation is half the battle. 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.”