Support service launched

Pictured at the launch are: Adrian McLaughlin, Choose Life Angus chairman; Liam Yule; Gail Forrest, Choose Life Co-ordinator; Sandra Ramsay; Councillor Glennis Middleton and Kirsty Keay.
Pictured at the launch are: Adrian McLaughlin, Choose Life Angus chairman; Liam Yule; Gail Forrest, Choose Life Co-ordinator; Sandra Ramsay; Councillor Glennis Middleton and Kirsty Keay.

A new service has been launched to support people across Angus with a friend or family member who is experiencing suicidal thoughts.

The new Community Support Network is a partnership between the Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH) and Choose Life Angus and reinforces SAMH’s recent ‘Two Too Many’ campaign, which highlighted the fact that two people die by suicide every day in Scotland.

Angus Council is funding the scheme, to be delivered by SAMH, after recognising the need for such a service which was launched in Forfar last week by Sandra Ramsay, who lost her son to suicide in February.

Mrs Ramsay said the new support scheme will provide “indispensable” expertise and help to anyone with a person in their lives affected by suicide.

She continued: “Family and carers need information, a listening ear and support which is appropriate for them. This can be in the form of one to one meetings or within a group setting. I’m confident that I would have benefited greatly from the form of support which is being launched.”

Kirsty Keay, National Programme Manager for Suicide Prevention at SAMH, also said the new service will have a vital role to play in the charity’s own activities.

She said: “We see the devastation caused by suicide on a daily basis, making our work in suicide prevention more important than ever. The new Angus Community Support Network will play a vital role in the progress of our suicide prevention programme.”

Councillor Glennis Middleton, the council’s social work and health spokeswoman, added that the authority has been working with public and voluntary sector partners to tackle the issue of suicide across Angus.

She added: “We identified that a high percentage of people who were calling the police in distress were then being left in the care of the family or friends, who struggled to know how to appropriately help and support their loved one. This service will fill this gap, and provide much needed support and information to those people affected by suicide across Angus.”