Acts of Remembrance will take place in city and shire to mark Suicide Prevention Week

Acts of Remembrance will take place in Aberdeen and Ellon during Suicide Prevention Week to remember those lost to suicide in the North-east.

Members of the public, especially families and friends of those lost to suicide are invited to attend either or both events.

The Lord Provost of Aberdeen George Adam will welcome visitors to the Town and County Hall (Town House) in Aberdeen on Thursday 10th September at 2pm before an address is provided by Donald Meston, Chaplain of the Royal Cornhill Hospital. This will be followed by remarks from Cruse Bereavement Care Scotland (CBCS).

Aberdeen Lord Provost George Adam said: “This simple act of remembrance provides people with the chance to come together with others who have shared the same sudden loss and to remember loved ones who are still in our thoughts.  There are many organisations that offer support from local authority mental health teams to organisations such as the Samaritans and Breathing Space.  Talking about the issue of suicide is the first step to understanding and coming to terms with the loss, and for many people this is the most difficult step.”

Those present will be able to add messages to a tree which will then be planted in Ellon by Aberdeenshire Provost Hamish Vernal on Saturday 10th September - World Suicide Prevention Day.

The tree planting and dedication ceremony will take place on land next to Market Street car park at 3pm.

The Acts of Remembrance are being organised by Choose Life.

Aberdeenshire Provost Hamish Vernal said: “It is important, that we take time to offer support to those who have been affected by suicide and also raise awareness of suicide to encourage people to seek help.

“Both local authorities are committed to supporting people in distress.  Through training, improved knowledge and awareness of suicide prevention practice and improved co-ordination between services we hope we can help reduce suicidal behaviour.”  

Alongside the tree will be a granite stone mounted on a plinth with “Choose Life – to remember those lost to suicide” written on it. This has been donated by A&J Robertson Granite Merchants in Aberdeen. The tree has been donated by Loch-Hills Plant Centre in Ellon.

Following the tree planting ceremony refreshments will be provided in Ellon Parish Church.

Aldi have given permission for people attending the ceremony to use their car park but please observe the 2hr limit.

Last year 65 people took their own life in the North-east with a further 39 suicides being recorded up until to the end of July this year.

The “Prevent Suicide - Northeast Scotland” App was launched at the end of March and was downloaded over 1000 times in the first eight weeks. The App is available to download on Apple, Android, Windows Phone and Kindle Fire devices.

The app is a way of allowing people to gain knowledge of suicide prevention without having to directly engage with mental health services which many people shy away from.

For information on what to do if you are worried someone is feeling suicidal, visit www.preventsuicideapp.com . People can also contact Samaritans by phoning 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.org

For more information about Choose Life contact Aberdeen City and Shire Choose Life Coordinator Iain Murray at Iainmurray@samh.org.uk