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CELTIC MANAGER GORDON STRACHAN BACKS CHOOSE LIFE

September 07, 2005 3:00 PM

CELTIC MANAGER GORDON STRACHAN BACKS CHOOSE LIFE

Prevention of Suicide is Everyone's Business

Suicide Prevention Day – Saturday 10th September 2005

Saturday the 10th of September, is World Suicide Prevention Day; spreading the message that prevention of suicide is everyone's business.

This year, efforts are being concentrated on reducing the numbers of young people who are taking their own lives. Among Scotsmen under the age of 35, it is the single biggest cause of death, exceeding accidents, violence and all illnesses.The East Renfrewshire Choose Life group is spearheading a large-scale campaign involving sport, the internet, local libraries and culminating in a theatrical performance at The ARC in Barrhead.

Increasing numbers of young men in Scotland are turning to suicide, leading to this year's focus on sport. Arthurlie and Neilston Junior Football Clubs and Whitecraigs and Giffnock Rugby Clubs are supporting this year's efforts by handing out crisis cards to all participants and spectators at their home games this week.

Made up of representatives from East Renfrewshire Council, Renfrewshire Association for Mental Health, NHS Greater Glasgow and NHS Argyll and Clyde, the East Renfrewshire Choose Life group is also hosting a number of other activities today designed to show that prevention of suicide is everyone's business.

Celtic manager Gordon Strachan is backing the work of the Choose Life team: "I was shocked to find out how many young Scottish men are committing suicide each year and I think it's something we can all help to stop. Even if it might not feel like it sometimes, there's always someone there to help you and you shouldn't be afraid of picking up the phone".

The climax of the day will be a play at The ARC in Barrhead. NHS Greater Glasgow's Public Health Practitioner in Eastwood and Levern Valley, Carole Whitelaw, is overseeing the work of theatre group Foxtrot: "Suicide can touch all of our lives and this play will show how we can all make a difference".

Councillor Danny Collins, East Renfrewshire's Convener for Social Work, Health and Social Justice, said: "The gift of life is precious. We all have a responsibility to play our part in protecting and supporting people who, through personal circumstances, start to lose their will to live.

"I welcome the opportunity not only to raise awareness of this serious issue but, more importantly, to highlight how we all can offer a lifeline to someone in need of our support."

In 2004, there were 835 suicides and unexplained deaths in this country – with men accounting for nearly three out of every four of those deaths. Here in East Renfrewshire in 2004, there were eleven suicides and undetermined deaths, nine of them involving men.

For further information, contact Annalena Winslow at NHS Greater Glasgow on 0141 201 4447.

ENDS

Notes for Editors

Worldwide, around one million lives are lost each year to suicide. This is equivalent to:

  • More lives lost than in all wars and homicides worldwide every year
  • Three times the number of people who died in the Asian tsunami
  • A loss greater than that on 9/11, every day of the year.

Case studies of people in East Renfrewshire who have turned away from suicide and sought help are available on request.

The Choose Life performance by Foxtrot Theatre Company begins at 1400 on Saturday, 10th September, at The ARC, 64 Aurs Drive Barrhead. Beginning at 1300, there will also be aromatherapy, Tai Chi, Indian head massage and Internet taster sessions. Free Action Zone passes to East Renfrewshire's gyms will also be available.

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