A woman who lost her husband and son to suicide has spoken about her grief to mark World Suicide Awareness Day.
Eight years ago, Fiona Weir’s husband took his own life and her son Simon died during November last year.
The 51-year-old from Peterhead is now campaigning to prevent further deaths and has supported the launch of a suicide prevention app.
“Some days it’s unbearable, everybody will comment and say I’m such a strong person,” she said.
“On the outside I’m a strong person but I’ve lost half my family to suicide – we were a family unit of four and now we’re down to two.
“I remember I heard this scream not even realising it was myself.
“We stay in the country so nobody came – eventually I had to go get one of my neighbours.
“I remember hitting him in the chest and saying ‘you promised me, you promised you wouldn’t do this’.”
She continued: “I was never angry with him, what hurts me is I can just imagine his last few minutes – the panic, the dry mouth, the dizziness and the crying – and that hurts me immensely that I wasn’t there for him.
“Mental health issues are a lot higher than they’ve been for a long time so I think it’s about getting the message out that there’s somebody to speak to.”
Iain Murray, from charity Choose Life, said the risk of suicide is increased if you have already experienced suicide in your family.
“680 people took their own life in Scotland last year- that is on average two people every day,” he said.
“We know that suicide is the biggest killer in men under the age of 50, and one in four of us will experience poor mental health in our life, but stigma is being reduced, there is absolutely not doubt about that.
“That’s the reason that events like today are really important to us – it’s about getting the conversation going and making everyone aware that it’s everyone’s responsibility and we should all be alert to signs of anxiety.
He added: “When there’s been a suicide in the family we know there’s an increased risk, and some research suggests that risk is as great as 65%, so we need to be alert at milestone times in our life when there’s been a bereavement and be supportive to each other.”