Samaritans issue concerns ahead of suicide prevention week roadshow

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THE Borders branch of The Samaritans have expressed concern at the number of suicides in Hawick.

Over the last 12 months there have been three instances of people taking their own life in the town.

Statistics show there were 17 suicides in the Borders in 2010, while calls ranged from issues regarding unemployment to personal matters and stress.

Arabella Lewis, chairman of the Borders branch said: “We feel that there’s more people out there in Hawick who need us.”

There are currently five trained volunteers among a group of 38 who operate from their West Port headquarters in Selkirk.

And Arabella revealed they deal with all ages at all times of the day.

She added: “In these days of budget cuts, Samaritans can offer support to some of the services who are finding costs hard to meet. Samaritans are available 24/7 that means we are never closed; a call to a lonely, unwell person, possibly recently discharged from hospital, after regular working hours – can restore confidence and morale; knowing there is someone to talk to in total confidence and possibly share a joke, have a laugh.”

The advice comes ahead of Suicide Prevention Week on September 10-16 when a number of events have been organised.

Scottish Borders Council’s health improvement team will be holding a roadshow called ‘Read between the lines’ from 10.30am to 3.30pm at the Heart of Hawick on September 10.

Visitors will be able to attend sessions on how to support and seek help for people who are having suicidal thoughts as well as taking care of their own emotional wellbeing. There will also be stands from organisations where further information will be available.

Two free film screenings are also being held at the Heart of Hawick on the same date at 7pm: ‘That’s Not Me’ and ‘The Flying Scotsman’.