Pupil power tackles suicide fears

Schools Suicide Prevention Tournament

Schools suicide prevention tournament

School pupils from 14 local high schools got the ball rolling in a special sports tournament to help raise awareness about Suicide Prevention in North Lanarkshire.

Featuring a 7-a-side football competition and netball tournament, over 200 senior pupils in S5 and S6 took part in the event at Ravenscraig on Wednesday 7 November. View pictures from the event on Flickr

Last year alone, 680 people across Scotland died from suicide and across the UK last year, there were 200 deaths by suicide involving school pupils.

Lynne MacDonald, Suicide Prevention Officer with North Lanarkshire Council said: "We undertake many different initiatives to help break the silence around suicide including partnerships with local football teams including Airdrieonians, Albion Rovers, Calderbraes FC, Clyde, Motherwell FC and Shotts.

"We also undertake prevention training within local schools and sports clubs and have recently launched our RU THAT GUY Suicide Prevention text alert system which encourages you to check up on your friends."

Paul Kelly, Depute Leader of North Lanarkshire Council added: "Preventing suicide is everyone's responsibility and we can all help. It may be a friend, a family member or someone you go to school with - spotting that someone is perhaps struggling can be difficult but if you think they seem down, out of sorts or just not themselves - ask them are they doing ok - as talking can make all the difference.

"We want to make people aware that there is help available. By raising awareness of how to recognise the signs sometimes associated with suicide, people will be in a better position to offer support and perhaps save lives."

Local professional football teams Motherwell FC, Airdrieonians FC, Albion Rovers and Clyde FC joined representatives from Police Scotland, the Scottish Ambulance Service and NHS Lanarkshire at the event which was hosted by NL Leisure.

Pupils from Airdrie Academy won the football tournament with Caldervale HS winning the netball tournament.

To join the 'RU THAT GUY' Suicide Prevention text alert - text 'THATGUY' to 60163. Messages will be charged at your standard network rate for initial sign-up message only. To sign-up for free email your mobile number to: thatguy@northlan.gov.uk

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