Councillor Paul Kelly Welcomes Campaign to Prevent Suicide
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The FC United campaign was launched last week, highlighting the prevalence of suicide deaths in our communities with the world’s longest minute’s applause. The campaign highlighted that this would be 12 hours and 45 minutes of continuous applause to commemorate all 762 lives lost in Scotland in 2022 to suicide, with a minute’s silence for each person lost. It highlights the extent of the issue and the reason we partnered with Scottish Government to create a strategy and action plan to address this.

At the launch of the campaign we heard from a vitally important voice in this conversation in a post from Suicide Prevention Scotland – Jen Gordon, a mum who sadly lost her 13-year-old son Devin to suicide.  My thoughts are with Jen and all who are grieving the loss of a loved one - her touching and thought-provoking piece highlighted the importance of talking about suicide. There is a common misconception that talking about suicide can ‘make things worse’ or increase suicidal feelings – but research shows this isn’t the case, talking about it doesn’t increase suicidal feelings, and can in fact save a life.

COSLA is a proud partner in Creating Hope Together – Scotland’s suicide prevention strategy. Strengthening Scotland’s awareness and responsiveness to suicide and to people who are affected by suicide are priorities of our strategy. We will continue to develop this to make sure suicide is talked about in our communities, and that people who feel suicidal or who are bereaved by suicide can find help and understanding when they need it most.

Councillor Paul Kelly, COSLA Health and Social Care Spokesperson

Further information

The FC United video can be found here.

Jen Gordon's story, discussing the loss of her son Devin, is linked here.

You can read Scotland's Suicide Prevention Strategy: Creating Hope Together here.

Sources of support

If you or someone you know is struggling with their mental health or feeling suicidal, please don’t hesitate to ask for help:

  • Contact your GP or NHS24 on 111 (if you live in Scotland)
  • Call Samaritans on 116 123 (available 24/7)
  • Call Breathing Space on 0800 83 85 87 (6pm-2am on weekdays, and 6pm on Friday to 6am on Monday; if you live in Scotland)
  • PAPYRUS HOPELINEUK is available for children and young people under 35 who are having thoughts of suicide or anyone concerned that a young person could be thinking about suicide — call 0800 068 4141 or text 07860 039 967
  • Text “SHOUT” to 85258 to contact the Shout Crisis Text Line, text “YM” if you are under 19. The service is available 24/7

Bereavement support can be found at:

  • Cruse Scotland: Free bereavement support and care. Free Helpline: 0808 802 6161 Monday to Friday 9am - 8pm, weekends 10am - 2pm.
  • Child Bereavement UK :  Providing confidential support for grieving individuals, families and professionals. Call: 0800 02 888 40 or email:  (open 9am - 5pm, Monday to Friday (except bank holidays)).
  • Winston's Wish:  Freephone Helpline on 08088 020 021 for expert advice, information and bereavement support for grieving children, young people and adults supporting them (open 8am - 8pm, Monday to Friday).