Suicide prevention group seeks Falkirk residents who can help

Pictured are, from left, Lara McDonald, member of the National Suicide Prevention Leadership Group; Joe FitzPatrick, Public Health Minister; and Billy Watson, Chief Executive of SAMH.
Pictured are, from left, Lara McDonald, member of the National Suicide Prevention Leadership Group; Joe FitzPatrick, Public Health Minister; and Billy Watson, Chief Executive of SAMH.
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People from Falkirk with lived experience of suicide are being encouraged to apply to join a new panel dedicated to preventing future tragedies.

Those who have previously attempted suicide, experienced suicidal thoughts, or lost a loved one to suicide are encouraged to apply to join the initiative.

SAMH is working on the project with the Scottish Government and partners Support in Mind, Penumbra, and Samaritans Scotland.

The panel will aim to provide an important platform for people who have personal experiences they can share.

They will be working alongside members of the Scottish Government’s National Suicide Prevention Leadership Group.

SAMH chief executive Billy Watson said: “SAMH has a long history of supporting people and families affected by suicide.

“We’ve campaigned vigorously to ensure anyone affected by suicide can get effective support now and in the future, and we believe that services which are shaped by the people who use them will deliver the best results.

“That’s why we’re so pleased to be supporting the development of a Lived Experience Panel”.

He added: “It’s a great opportunity for people who want to help make a difference to thousands of people’s lives.

“The panel should be a true representation of our society, so I encourage those from all backgrounds to join us and help make a difference that we can all be proud of.”

Public Health Minister Joe FitzPatrick said: “No death by suicide should be regarded as either acceptable or inevitable.

“We have made real progress to reduce suicide but we are determined to do even more.

“Our goal is to ensure help and support is available to everyone contemplating suicide and those who have lost a loved one.

“Putting people who have been affected by suicide at the centre of our work is key to reducing further deaths by suicide. “The new Lived Experience Panel will have a pivotal role in shaping and informing our Suicide Prevention Action Plan.

“It will continue our work to address the stigma associated with suicide and encourage more people to talk because every life matters.”

To find out more about the role and to apply, visit www.samh.org.uk/information/work-with-us/vacancies/suicide-prevention-lived-experience-panel-volunteer-member