Creating Hope Through Action for Suicide Prevention Day 2021

Friday, 3 September, 2021

East Dunbartonshire residents are being encouraged to create hope for others by showing their support for Suicide Prevention Day.

In 2020, 15 lives were lost to suicide in East Dunbartonshire. The emotional impact on families, friends and communities is devastating, and can have long-lasting effects on those left behind.

World Suicide Prevention Day is on Friday 10 September and East Dunbartonshire Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP) and East Dunbartonshire Council will join together to mark the day. The theme of World Suicide Prevention Day this year is Creating Hope Through Action.

People are being encouraged to light a candle near a window at 8pm on 10 September to show support for suicide prevention, to remember a loved one lost through suicide, and for bereaved families.

Lighting a candle will offer people the opportunity to observe the day in a private and personal way. A tree has been planted in Woodhead Park, Kirkintilloch in tribute to those affected by suicide and the HSCP and Council will 'light' a candle on social media that can be shared to raise awareness of Suicide Prevention Day.

East Dunbartonshire HSCP Interim Chief Officer Caroline Sinclair, said, "Creating Hope Through Action is a reminder that there is an alternative to suicide and aims to inspire confidence and light in all of us; that our actions, no matter how big or small, may provide hope to those who are struggling.

"Preventing suicide is often possible and you are a key player in its prevention. Through action, you can make a difference to someone in their darkest moments - as a member of society, as a child, as a parent, as a friend, as a colleague or as a neighbour. We can all play a role in supporting those experiencing a suicidal crisis or those bereaved by suicide.

"Suicidal thoughts are complex. The factors and causes that lead to suicide are complex and many. No single approach works for everyone. What we do know is that there are certain factors and life events that may make someone more vulnerable to suicide and mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression can also be a contributing factor.  People who are suicidal may feel trapped or like a burden to their friends, family and those around them and thus feel like they are alone and have no other options.

"The COVID-19 Pandemic has contributed to increased feelings of isolation and vulnerability. By creating hope through action, we can signal to people experiencing suicidal thoughts that there is hope and that we care and want to support them.

"Although the support of friends and relatives is crucial for people who may be at risk of suicide and for people who have lost someone to suicide, it is not always enough. Often more formal help is also needed. There are also many experienced and skilled people working in organisations who can help people who need to talk. I hope that anyone affected by suicide or thoughts of suicide will seek help from one of these agencies."

The HSCP is in the process of developing the local suicide prevention action plan that will help to refocus work around suicide prevention in East Dunbartonshire.

For advice about suicidal feelings, contact:

Breathing Space [opens in a new window] - 0800 83 85 87;
Samaritans [opens in a new window] - 08457 90 90 90;
SAMH [opens in a new window] -0800 917 3466;
NHS 24 [opens in a new window] -111.

Further information on accessing local mental health services can be found on the Mental Health page.