Choose Life, Scotland ’s suicide prevention initiative, is launching a national poster and media campaign on World Suicide Prevention Day (Monday 10 September).
Called ‘Read between the lines’, it encourages people to be alert to changes in others that may mean they are thinking about suicide and talk to them about how they feel as a first step to getting help. It will signpost to Breathing Space and Samaritans helplines for advice for the helper or the person at risk of suicide.
Family and friends can help
The campaign is the result of learning from research which suggests that, due to greater contact, family and friends of people at risk of suicide may be better placed to recognise signs of distress in someone than traditional groups of people in ‘human services’ (for example, police, teachers, clergy) – and therefore in a good position to help.
Overcoming barriers to action
'Read between the lines’ acknowledges that signs of suicide can be ambiguous, but encourages people to take all signs of distress seriously. It also aims to assure people that asking a person about what’s troubling them can make a positive difference.
The campaign targets men and women who are likely to be in greatest contact with people most at risk of suicide – men aged 30-59, including those working in male dominated workplaces. A suite of four posters target mums, male friends, male workmates and female friends.