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Argyll and West Dunbartonshire Police Division’s area commander has welcomed news of a new service to support families bereaved by suicide.
Chief Inspector Marlene Baillie is encouraging people to use a pilot service launched by Scotland’s National Suicide Prevention Leadership Group (NSPLG).
Funded by the Scottish Government, the service will provide practical and emotional support to families who have lost a loved one to suicide in the past year.
The service is also intended to help reduce suicide, as evidence shows that up to 10 per cent of people bereaved by suicide may go on to attempt to take their own lives.
Penumbra and Support in Mind Scotland, two of Scotland’s leading mental health charities, are working in partnership to deliver the services across two health board areas: NHS Highland which includes Argyll and Bute and NHS Ayrshire and Arran.
Chief Inspector Baillie said: ‘Through Argyll and Bute being included in this pilot, our frontline officers attending incidents of suicide can now offer much-needed support to families and others bereaved by suicide.
‘The service can provide practical support, such as making funeral arrangements, and will also support families coming to terms with their loss.
‘I would encourage anyone who has lost someone to suicide over the past year to get in touch, either directly with service by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephoning 0800 471 4768.’
Police Scotland can also make referrals on behalf of those who email ArgyllDunbartonshireCommunityEngagementTeam@scotland.pnn.police.uk
The new service will operate seven days a week; it will make initial contact with bereaved families within 24 hours of a referral and specially-trained bereavement support workers will provide customised support relevant to each family’s circumstances.