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Highland Council to mark World Suicide Prevention Day with impact of Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic acknowledged in 'hope through action' theme

By Val Sweeney

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Cllr Linda Munro.
Cllr Linda Munro.

Highland Council will join other organisations and individuals on Friday to highlight World Suicide Prevention Day.

This year's theme, Creating Hope Through Action, follows a challenging year in which the impact of the coronavirus pandemic has impacted on some people's mental health.

Councillor Linda Munro, chairwoman of the health, social care and wellbeing committee, said: "World Suicide Prevention Day is one day of the year in which global awareness is raised of a significant public health crisis.

"Highland has had a small decrease in deaths by probable suicide in 2020.

"However, worryingly the five-year average figure is higher in Highland than the national average.

"Communities and people of the Highlands are encouraged to collectively work together with health professionals, charities, schools and organisations to demystify the stigma around suicide and poor mental health."

Councillor Munro added: "Developing additional local services to enable early intervention to support the mental health and emotional wellbeing of people within Highland is crucial, particularly within the current Covid-19 circumstances.”

The council will mark the day on Friday with its partners to collectively raise awareness and support communities across Highland to recognise the harms of suicide, raise awareness, reduce stigma and encourage meaningful and safe conversations around suicide.

If you, or someone you know needs support in relation to suicide, you can call Samaritans on 116 123 or Breathing Space on 0800 83 85 87.

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