Read between the lines and help to save a life

Read between the lines – that’s the message being promoted by the City of Edinburgh Council during National Suicide Prevention Week.

Two lives a day in Scotland are lost to suicide and the awareness week, which runs from today (Monday September 8), reaches out to the people close to those who are at risk.

Events to raise awareness will take place in shopping centres, libraries and neighbourhood offices, in a bid to urge Edinburgh residents to help those who may be suicidal. As well as information stalls, a free showing of A Single Man starring Colin Firth is being held at the Filmhouse on Lothian Road on Wednesday the 10th.

The “read between the lines” campaign promotes the message that if you are worried about someone asking them how they feel can help to save their life - even if they say that they are feeling fine.

Activities kicked off at the weekend with the Choose Life Challenge five-a-side football tournament at Gracemount Leisure Centre. A church service for people whose lives have been touched by suicide took place yesterday in the Augustine United Church.

Councillor Ricky Henderson, Convener of Health, Social Care and Housing, said: “Talking to someone about suicide can make the difference between life and death and this can bring a real sense of relief to people who are struggling with these thoughts.

“Staff from Health and Social Care are actively involved in the Edinburgh Choose Life Steering Group with partner organisations, which supports the Scottish Government’s suicide prevention strategy.

“If you are worried about someone’s behaviour, please read between the lines and don’t be afraid to broach the subject. There are a number of excellent, professional organisations out there that would be happy to help.”

For help and further advice if you are concerned that someone you know might be at risk, contact Breathing Space on 0800 83 85 87 or the Samaritans on 08457 90 90 90.

Media interviews with people who have experienced suicidal thoughts can be arranged by contacting Fiona Borland on 0131 529 7471.

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