Launch of suicide prevention poster could save lives

Helping to prevent suicides
Helping to prevent suicides

Posters urging people to seek help if they are thinking of taking their own life are being displayed in train stations across East Dunbartonshire.

The thought-provoking posters have been launched to coincide with the rolling out of the new National Suicide Prevention Strategy 2013-16.

The strategy details 11 commitments that the Scottish Government, national partners and local authorities will drive forward to help prevent and reduce suicide from now until the end of 2016.

East Dunbartonshire Council and its partners are working to reduce the prevalence of suicide, self-harm and mental health problems across the area.

As part of this local action plan, the council and its partners are involved in raising awareness of suicide and its impact, as well as promoting suicide prevention, through initiatives such as the poster campaign.

Posters have been displayed in Lenzie, Bishopbriggs, Milngavie, Westerton and Bearsden train stations and contain national and local support-line telephone numbers.

Councillor Michael O’Donnell, convener of the council’s social work committee, said: “These posters are an important part of the council’s new suicide and self-harm strategy.

“We want to change people’s perception about suicide and the stigma surrounding it.

“The key message is that suicide is preventable and it is everybody’s business.

“So if you are worried about someone, seek help.

“As part of the strategy we are working closely with our partners, including East Dunbartonshire Community Health Partnership and East Dunbartonshire Association for Mental Health, to improve wellbeing, training and education and raise awareness about these issues.

“East Dunbartonshire Council provides a wide range of training around suicide prevention. Courses are offered to anyone living or working in this area.

“Since the inception of the suicide prevention course ASIST in 2006, more than 400 people have trained here.

“Due to the rise in demand for these courses we are considering running more than ever before in 2014.”

Tony McLaren, Breathing Space national coordinator, said: “It can be difficult to talk about feelings and emotions. If you are worried about someone, asking them directly about their feelings can help them to open up.

“Talking, listening and showing concern to a friend, colleague or loved one is an important first step.”