Sup­port ser­vices team up to of­fer men cop­ing and help strate­gies

Evening Express (City Final) - - UK & Abroad - By Emma Mor­rice

AN AUS­TRALIAN sui­cide pre­ven­tion char­ity has part­nered-up with a North­east aware­ness group.

Par­ents Be­yond Breakup, based in New South Wales, Aus­tralia, got in touch with Aberdeen aware­ness group Choose Life af­ter read­ing about its cam­paign to tar­get men go­ing through a re­la­tion­ship break-up.

It will now look to share in­for­ma­tion with the group, which could help pre­vent male sui­cides.

The or­gan­i­sa­tion found that men ac­counted for around

80% of peo­ple tak­ing their own lives in Aberdeen and Aberdeen­shire, with fail­ing re­la­tion­ships play­ing a sig­nif­i­cant part.

Choose Life ap­pealed for men to sug­gest how sup­port ser­vices could help them, which re­sulted in the Aus­tralian char­ity get­ting in touch.

Pete Ni­cholls, chief ex­ec­u­tive of Par­ents Be­yond Breakup, said: “We’ve been hugely suc­cess­ful in lim­it­ing male sui­cide post­sep­a­ra­tion and wanted to make con­tact to dis­cuss shar­ing of best prac­tice.

“Male sui­cide is con­sid­ered as a men­tal health is­sue but we are find­ing most male sui­cide is sit­u­a­tional dis­tress. I went through this my­self. How­ever, if you show them how to nav­i­gate through it then they do not take their own life. If you sit down with peers, they stop be­ing sui­ci­dal.”

Iain Mur­ray, Choose Life Aberdeen and Aberdeen­shire co-or­di­na­tor, said it was a sig­nif­i­cant con­nec­tion.

He added: “Dur­ing April we’re gath­er­ing ques­tions, thoughts and ex­pe­ri­ences through the Choose Life Pre­vent Sui­cide North East Scot­land Face­book page and also we’ve set 10 lo­ca­tions in Aberdeen­shire and the city where peo­ple can phys­i­cally drop off their com­ments.

“What we’ve dis­cov­ered hav­ing looked at some data is that males in par­tic­u­lar seem to re­ally strug­gle with re­la­tion­ship break-ups, and in re­la­tion to sui­cides in the North­east, that’s one of the most prominent fac­tors we’ve no­ticed.”

Aberdeen City and Aberdeen­shire Choose Life Steer­ing Group won both the In­no­va­tion award, and the Care for Men­tal Health award at the Scot­tish Health Awards 2017.

For peo­ple who might be seek­ing some sup­port in cop­ing with life, the Sa­mar­i­tans of­fer a free and con­fi­den­tial emo­tional sup­port ser­vice. Sa­mar­i­tans are avail­able 24 hours a day, ev­ery day, on tele­phone num­ber 116 123.

We’ve been suc­cess­ful in lim­it­ing male sui­cide

AMAZ­ING APRONS!

Help: Choose Life co-or­di­na­tor Iain Mur­ray wel­comed the link-up.

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