Police call: Supporting Suicide Awareness Week

Chief Inspector Damian Armstrong
Chief Inspector Damian Armstrong

This week officers based in Falkirk have been working with NHS Scotland to raise awareness of and supporting Suicide Awareness Week.

Many people within our communities and workplaces can suffer from mental illness and some may even have suicidal thoughts.

Incidents where members of our communities present with suicidal inclinations are now commonplace and officers and Forth Valley Royal Hospital are dealing with these issues daily.

Suicide is devastating both psychologically and emotionally and is felt throughout communities everywhere. Falkirk and Forth Valley is no different.

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On average two people die by suicide every day in Scotland. What makes this figure all the more harrowing is that suicide can be prevented.

On many occasions police officers are the first on the scene for people experiencing crisis and, on many occasions, this leads to suicidal ideation.

Officers have access to the Force’s suicide prevention guidance which has enhanced the knowledge of police officers and staff on suicide prevention, enabling them to offer some form of crisis intervention to individuals who experience immediate and often short term physical, emotional or behavioural distress.

However, everyone in our community can also play an important role in tackling suicide by being alert to the warning signs of suicide in people close to them.

If you’re worried about someone, such as a friend, family member or workmate, asking them directly about their feelings can help to save their life.

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Experience has shown it can be a big relief for them to be able to say ‘‘Yes, I am’’ 
and acknowledge they need help.

There are plenty of agencies who offer this help and can be contacted online or via health professionals.

For help and support, call the Samaritans on 116 123.