A charity set up in a man’s memory is aiming to provide better support for those at risk of and bereaved by suicide.
The James Support Group is now working with students after being adopted by the University of the Highlands and Islands Inverness (UHI Inverness) to try to help anyone who needs it.
Car salesman and father-of-three James Mullery, from Easter Ross, was just 28 when he took his own life in 2017.
In the aftermath, his family felt there needed to be more help for those affected by suicide, and those who feel vulnerable themselves.
James’s dad Patrick Mullery said: “He was a lovely guy. He was great, really nice, he was sarcastic, he was funny, and we miss him.
“We miss his banter, we miss the craic. There is a massive hole in our lives. Our lives have changed forever since losing James.
“They reckon one suicide affects 135 people, but if you go to a funeral there are usually 400, 500 people there, so maybe the figure is a bit higher than that.
“To not have any help for us directly for family or indirect family and friends is terrible. That’s why we started the group, to give some support to others in our situation.”
The group – which holds monthly meetings – encourages feedback from students on how it supports them both inside and outside the classroom.
UHI Inverness vice-principal Lindsay Snodgrass said: “We have support 24/7, 365 days a year for students, particularly around mental health, but also around the cost of living crisis and financial support.”
James’s dad believes the tandem approach of those who have lost loved ones helping those who are feeling suicidal is proving powerful.
Mr Mullery said: “That support is there. The families give advice and make people aware that if they were to complete suicide, there is nothing worse for all the people that they are going to leave behind.
“All their loved ones are going to be completely devastated by that act and that’s why it helps. And it really does work.”
You can contact the James Support Group through its website or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling the 24 hour helpline on 07563 572471.
If you have been affected by any of these issues, you can call the Samaritans for free on 116 123, email them at email@example.com, or visit samaritans.org to find your nearest branch.
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