Choose Life helps those ‘at risk’

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Choose Life, a national campaign to prevent suicide in Scotland, is to target their efforts at men aged 30 to 50 in Angus and Dundee, seen as the most ‘at risk’ group of suicide.

Choose Life launched a ten year strategy and action plan in 2002 to prevent suicide in Scotland, aiming to reduce suicide by 20% by 2013, and the joint Angus and Dundee Choose Life Steering Group (JADCLSG) was set up to develop a local suicide prevention strategy.

Latest figures show that there has been a 17% fall in suicide since 2002, with 772 deaths by suicide in Scotland in 2011.The rate for male suicide is almost three times that of females.

In Angus, there were 14 deaths by suicide in 2011 – ten male and four female. The corresponding figures for 2010 were 11 male and three female.

Convener of Social Work and Health, Councillor Glennis Middleton said: “Every death by suicide is a tragedy, and a loss for the families and friends of the person who has taken their own life. Although in Angus the rate of completed suicide from 14% average per 100,000 of population from 1999-2005 to 12.9% average between 2006-2010, and we welcome this downward trend, we have to continue our efforts to prevent people from taking their own lives.”

She added: “Men aged 30-50 are recognised as our ‘at risk’ group in Angus and JADCLSG will use a number of strategies to raise awareness of this problem, including using social media. For example, a mobile phone app will be launched before Christmas, accessed free by anyone feeling suicidal.”

The committee noted the report and approved the proposed prevention initiatives.

Breathing Space - a free and confidential phoneline service - can be contacted on 0800 83 85 87. Lines are open 24 hours at weekends, from Friday 6pm to Monday 6am and 6pm to 2am at other times. Samaritans, open 24 hours, can be contacted on 08457 90 90 90.