Teams join forces in the fight to combat suicide

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Suicide Prevention North Lanarkshire teamed up with Motherwell, Celtic and Airdrie FC for a contest to raise awareness about the high death rates in Scotland.

The seven-side event at Ravenscraig on Wednesday highlighted the fact that help is available for those worried about suicide and mental health issues.

Suicide is responsible for more deaths in Scotland each year than traffic accidents, and in particular affects men in the 30-50 year-old age group.

Celtic legend George McCluskey joined Motherwell coach Keith Lasley and Airdrie captain Marc Fitzpatrick at the

tournament to support the effort.

Lynne MacDonald, Suicide Prevention Officer with North Lanarkshire Council said: “Our annual football tournament

and suicide prevention week raises public awareness about the devastating impact of suicide and helps promote the

services which are there to help those in need.

“However, suicide affects lives across Scotland every day of every week.

“We need to shatter the silence of suicide, and all take an active role in supporting people concerned or worried about suicide.”

Teams in the tournament, organised by North Lanarkshire Leisure, included the Airdrie Mental Health and

Addictions team, Voluntary sector South Lanarkshire and the Scottish Veterans service.

Motherwell FC coach Keith Lasley said: “As a football club, we are proud to support North Lanarkshire Council in

efforts to help raise awareness about suicide and highlight the services in the community which are there to help.

“Hopefully we can act as role models in getting the message out there for people to be aware of potential warning

signs and how to be able to offer help and support.”

Kevin O’Neill, National Distress Brief Intervention Programme Manager, said: “We all feel emotionally

overwhelmed at some point in our lives.

“By shattering the secrecy we make it easier for all of us to speak up and reach out.

“Let’s keep the conversation around mental health and suicide alive”.

If you are feeling suicidal or suspect that someone you know is considering suicide, contact Samaritans on 08457

90 90 90 (24 hours) or Breathing Space on 0800 83 85 87.

For further information visit www.northlanarkshire.gov.uk/safer