Diamonds on the ball for suicide alert launch
September 12, 2018
Airdrie were today represented at a Football Festival to promote the launch of a new measure to tackle Suicide in North Lanarkshire.
Our partners at Suicide Prevention North Lanarkshire have introduced a text alert system to encourage young men to check on their friends or family who may be feeling low or suicidal, often after nights out, and has been christened the 'RU THAT GUY' campaign.
The text system was officially launched at a special 7-a-side football tournament held at Ravenscraig today, which featured more than 350 players from across Lanarkshire and beyond as part of National Suicide Prevention Week.
Suicide is responsible for more deaths in Scotland each year than traffic accidents, and in particular affects young men in the 30-50 year-old age group.
Lynne MacDonald, Suicide Prevention Lead with North Lanarkshire Council explained: “Suicide devastates lives and communities across Scotland every day of every week. The figures are shocking and we need to do more about it.
“The idea behind our new text alert system was born after discussions with our target audience – young men. Men are far less likely to seek help, talk to friends or let anyone know they are feeling worried, concerned or suicidal. Unfortunately, this same group are far more likely to take their own lives.
“Our RU THAT GUY campaign aims to encourage people to ‘be that’ person who will text or phone their friends, maybe after a night out, maybe after a tough week or just when they suspect they maybe aren’t themselves. Just one simple text could make all the difference to someone who needs help. Sign-up now by texting: THATGUY to 07903594700.”
Already the 350 players participating in the 7-a-side tournament have signed up to the text alert system, which works by sending reminders to your mobile phone at key times, often late at night and throughout the year, to check in on your friends.
The event was backed by representatives from all four professional teams in North Lanarkshire and local grassroots clubs Calderbraes FC and Shotts.
Teams in the tournament, organised by North Lanarkshire Leisure, included the Scots Guard, McDonalds and teams from the emergency services and voluntary sector.
The Airdrie team consisted of First Team Coach David Proctor, Commercial Manager Dougy Allsop, coaches from the Community Club and players from the ‘Internazioswally' Supporters Team, and despite being put together at the last minute, topped their group and narrowly lost out on penalties in the semi-finals.
Paula Macleod, NHS Lanarkshire General Manager of Mental Health Services, said: “People who have lived through a suicide attempt often talk about reaching the point where they could see no alternative but to take their own life, and about the days, hours and minutes leading up to this.
“Those who survive often say they didn’t want to die and how important it was when someone intervened, offered support and stopped them, and how they actively sought someone who would sense their despair and ask them whether they were okay.
“It tells us that for many, taking a minute to reach out to someone – a complete stranger or close family member or friend – can change the course of a life.”
There will be an information stall on the concourse at the home match against Dumbarton on September 22 for fans to find out more.
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 more information click here.
To sign-up to the North Lanarkshire Suicide Prevention alert system text: THATGUY to 07903594700.