NATIONAL Suicide Week is in full swing, and International Suicide Prevention day is being held on Sunday.
On September 10 every year, the the international suicide prevention community aims to reduce stigma and reinforce the message that we can all play a part in helping to prevent suicide.
As such, Suicide Prevention Action Group are raising awareness throughout the region with activities such as stalls at public venues and messaging on social media.
The theme of this year’s campaign is “Creating hope through action”, and key messages include talking saves lives, together we can save lives, and offering time space compassion.
These messages highlight that by being there to support each other and through listening with empathy, we can help to save a life.
In Dumfries and Galloway, the number of deaths by suicide was 16. While this is lower than the figure of 2021 at 20, every life lost to suicide is a tragedy and has a devastating impact on those left behind.
Director of Public Health, NHS DG, Valerie White said: “Any suicide is devastating for loved ones, family, friends, colleagues and our wider community.
“People can feel suicidal for a range of reasons, such as financial issues, isolation, loneliness or bereavement.
“Talking openly about suicide is a way to reduce the stigma that prevents people from talking about how they are feeling or seeking help.
“It is hoped that by partner organisations working together, and with people in our communities, we can encourage and support making it easier for people to ask for help, and for people to offer help to someone in distress.”
If you or someone you know is experiencing thoughts of suicide there is a range of support available such as your GP or doctor surgery, the prevent suicide DG app on your phone, or calling Breathing Space on 0800 83 85 87, NHS 24 on 111 or Samaritans on 116 123.
If you think someone is in immediate danger, the quickest way to get help is to call an ambulance on 999.
Knowing who you to turn to and reaching out for support is absolutely key in our efforts to prevent death by suicide in our region.