New support network launched in Angus

Pictured at the launch are: Adrian McLaughlin, Choose Life Angus chairman; Liam Yule; Gail Forrest, Choose Life Co-ordinator; Sandra Ramsay; Councillor Glennis Middleton and Kirsty Keay.

Pictured at the launch are: Adrian McLaughlin, Choose Life Angus chairman; Liam Yule; Gail Forrest, Choose Life Co-ordinator; Sandra Ramsay; Councillor Glennis Middleton and Kirsty Keay.

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A new support network to help people across Angus who have a loved once experiencing suicidal thoughts was launched on Friday.

Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH) launched the community support networking in partnership with Choose Life Angus.

The service underlines the charity’s recent ‘Two Two Many’ campaign, which highlighted the fact that two people die by suicide every day in Scotland.

Angus Council, who has recognised that there is no service currently like this in the county, is funding the project which will be delivered by SAMH.

Sandra Ramsay, who lost her son to suicide in February this year, launched the network on July 12.

She said: “SAMH’s new Angus Community Support Network will provide the level of expertise, help and support which is indispensable for those who have a person in their lives affected by suicide.

“There can be no doubt that coping with a loved one who has suicidal thoughts is stressful. SAMH has identified that parents, friends and carers of suicidal people, of any age, require support to continue in their caring role. Family and carers need information, a listening ear and support which is appropriate for them. This can be in the form of one to one meetings or within a group setting. I applaud SAMH and Choose Life Angus for taking the lead in this field and I’m confident that I would have benefited greatly from the form of support which is being launched today.”

Gail Forrest, Choose Life co-ordinator for Angus said: “We are pleased to be able to work with SAMH to see the introduction of this network. It is the latest in a number of initiatives supported by Choose Life in Angus as we work to reduce suicide in the county.”

Angus Council’s spokesperson for social work and health councillor Glennis Middleton said: “Angus Council, through the Suicide Prevention Collaborative, has been working with its partners within the public and voluntary sector to tackle the issue of suicide across the county.

“Working with our partners in Police Scotland, we identified that a high percentage of people who were calling the police in distress were then being left in the care of the family or friends, who struggled to know how to appropriately help and support their loved one.

“This service will fill this gap, and provide much needed support and information to those people affected by suicide across Angus.”