Football tackles suicide fears at Ravenscraig competition

The team from the Fire & Rescue Service with their trophy
The team from the Fire & Rescue Service with their trophy

Suicide prevention was the focus at Ravenscraig Regional Sports Facility as teams battled it out in a five-a-side football competition.

Held as part of National Suicide Prevention Week this was the eighth year of the competition with more than 150 players taking part.

Twenty-six teams from across Lanarkshire were involved, including sides from Barnardo’s, McDonald’s, NHS Lanarkshire, North Lanarkshire Leisure and the Fire and Rescue Services.

The event was organised by Lynne Cruickshank, senior officer for younger adults with North Lanarkshire Council, in partnership with Choose Life, NHS Lanarkshire and North Lanarkshire Leisure.

She said: “Everyday around two people die from suicide in Scotland with three out of four being male. Being aware of the signs means we might notice when someone is considering suicide and we could then offer support and possibly help save a life.

“Football can have a positive impact on mental wellbeing and participants were told about the impact suicide can have on the lives of not just those thinking about suicide, but the effect it can have on friends and family.”

Scotland has the highest suicide rate in the UK and it is the leading cause of death in those under the age of 35 years.

Staff from the Terrance Higgins Trust, NHS Health Improvement, Action for Lone Parents and Phoenix Futures were amongst a number of stalls offering information and advice at the event.

The winners of the tournament were the Fire Service with the players coming from different divisions across Lanarkshire and the runners-up were the McDonald’s team from East Kilbride.