‘Read be­tween the lines’ can help save lives

The Oban Times - - News -

LAST YEAR, 15 peo­ple in Ar­gyll and Bute took their own lives, leav­ing a last­ing im­pact on fam­i­lies, friends and com­mu­ni­ties.

Choose Life, the sui­cide preven­tion char­ity, is send­ing out the mes­sage to peo­ple in the re­gion: ‘If you can read be­tween the lines, you can save lives’, dur­ing sui­cide preven­tion week.

The ‘Read be­tween the lines’ cam­paign calls on ev­ery­one to be alert to the warn­ing signs of sui­cide in peo­ple close to them. The mes­sage is that if you’re wor­ried about some­one, such as a friend, fam­ily mem­ber or work­mate, ask­ing them di­rectly about their feel­ings can help to save their life.

Tracy Preece, Choose Life co- or­di­na­tor in Ar­gyll and Bute, said: ‘You tend to know when some­one close to you isn’t quite them­selves. So if you no­tice any changes in their be­hav­iour that worry you – even if the signs come and go – ask them about it.

‘ You’ll find that talk­ing can help a per­son get clar­ity about what it is that’s trou­bling them, and of­ten gives a sense of per­spec­tive. Start­ing a con­ver­sa­tion is half the bat­tle. You don’t need to have an an­swer to their prob­lems – just be there for them, try to lis­ten care­fully with­out judg­ing, and show that you care.

‘If it feels right, ask if they are think­ing about sui­cide. It won’t put the thought in their head if it wasn’t there be­fore, but it can be a big re­lief for them to be able to say, “yes, I am” and ac­knowl­edge they need help.’

For more in­for­ma­tion, visit: www. chooselife.net/.

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