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People affected by suicide to form panel to support others

Their personal experience will support the National Suicide Prevention Leadership Group.

Support: The panel will inform and educate on the ways to prevent others from taking their own lives. <strong>Pixabay</strong>
Support: The panel will inform and educate on the ways to prevent others from taking their own lives. Pixabay

People affected by suicide will join a new panel to inform and educate on the ways to prevent others from taking their own lives.

The panel will be made up of those who have previously attempted suicide or who have experienced suicidal thoughts and those who have lost a loved one to suicide.

Their personal experience will help support the Scottish Government’s National Suicide Prevention Leadership Group.

The recruitment of the panel will be a collaboration between mental health charities, including Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH), Support in Mind, Samaritans and Penumbra.

Announcing the panel on World Suicide Prevention Day, public health minister Joe FitzPatrick said: “Every life matters and no death by suicide should be regarded as either acceptable or inevitable.

“This is why the new lived experience panel will have a pivotal role in helping to inform and shape our action plan.

“On World Suicide Prevention Day it is important that we raise awareness and promote more understanding of suicide in our society.

“It is our goal to live in a country where suicide is preventable, where help and support is available to everyone contemplating suicide or to people who have lost a loved one to suicide.

“Over the past decade we have made real progress in reducing deaths by suicide but we have more to do. We are addressing the stigma associated with suicide and encouraging more people to talk.”

SAMH chief executive Billy Watson added: “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.

“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.”


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