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A new group is working to reduce deaths by making Argyll and Bute a suicide safer community.
Argyll and Bute Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP), Police Scotland, Argyll and Bute Council, ACUMEN and other key third sector groups across the area are members of the group being chaired by Fiona Davies, interim chief officer of the HSCP.
The group links in with the Scottish Government’s Suicide Prevention Action Plan and has its own action plan to make sure people at risk of suicide, and their families, feel able to ask for help and have access to skilled staff and well-co-ordinated support.
Other aims of the plan include ensuring people affected by suicide are no longer alone, that suicide is no longer stigmatised and that better support is given to people bereaved by it.
‘Suicide prevention is everyone’s business. So let’s not be scared to talk about it,’ said Ms Davies, who has thanked everyone who has got involved.
‘We all know the last year in particular with the pandemic has been really difficult for many people and it is therefore really important there is support for people in Argyll and Bute.
‘We are lucky to already have so many groups and organisations providing support and advice within their communities and we will continue to work closely with them in their suicide prevention campaigns.
‘It is important we support local campaigns and link into national campaigns and groups including United to Prevent Suicide.
‘We will ensure there are regular updates from the Suicide Prevention Group and we would encourage everyone to get involved, start a conversation and save a life.’
Kirstie Cusick, manager of social movement United to Prevent Suicide, added: ‘United to Prevent Suicide is a way to bring people together from across Scotland, including Argyll and Bute, so that we all have the confidence to talk about suicide and save lives.
‘We are united in a shared belief that each and every one of us has a role to play in preventing suicide.
‘When you join the social movement for change you will receive a suicide prevention pack loaded with information on how to talk about suicide and understand the stigma surrounding it.
‘Together we can save lives, so please take action today by going to https://www.unitedtopreventsuicide.org.uk.’
If you or someone you know is struggling with their mental health or feeling suicidal, ask for help by contacting your GP, Breathing Space on 0800 838587, Samaritans on 116 123 or text SHOUT to 85258.