Partnership working in Fife to support suicide prevention

Fife is supporting National Suicide Prevention Week and working in Partnership with local organisation we are encouraging people to reach out for support in times of distress and crisis.

Fife Health and Social Care Partnership Health Promotion Service has partnered up with Fife clubs (Dunfermline Athletic FC, Raith Rovers FC, East Fife FC, Cowdenbeath FC, Inverkeithing Hillfield Swifts, Kelty Hearts and Fife Flyers), well known Fife sports figures Caroline Weir and Jim Leishman and local support services (Andy’s Man Club, mental health charity Penumbra, SAMs Cafe, Samaritans and CARF) to encourage anyone who is struggling to ask for help and more importantly, know what support is available in Fife and how to access it.

Suicide Prevention is everybody’s business and in Fife we are supporting the national action plan ‘Every Life Matters’, which is working towards a vision where suicide is preventable in Scotland. Where help and support is available to anyone contemplating suicide and also for those who have sadly lost a loved one to suicide.

It is anticipated the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic on individual mental health and wellbeing will be felt for some time to come and that adverse effects on people with mental illness, and on population mental health in general, are likely to be exacerbated by fear, self-isolation, and physical distancing.

At this time of overcoming the Covid-19 pandemic it is important that we all have those we can talk to openly and honestly, be that family, friends or professionals.

Nicky Connor, Director, Fife Health & Social Care Partnership said, “Suicide can affect us all and as a community we all have a part to play. It is so important to know that you are not alone and there is support out there. It is by working together at a national, local and individual level that will help to prevent suicide ensuring every life matters in Fife.”

#YoureNotOnYourOwn #EveryLifeMattersInFife

Raising awareness of suicide prevention and giving the public information is vital. Fife Health and Social Care Partnership is fully supporting the 2020 Suicide Prevention Awareness Week through the promotion of the “#YoureNotOnYourOwn” video across local social media and Kingdom FM. The Health Promotion Team has worked closely with Dunfermline Athletic Football Club to bring together Fife sporting figures Caroline Weir and Jim Leishman along with representatives from all major sporting clubs (Raith Rovers FC, East Fife FC, Cowdenbeath FC, Inverkeithing Hillfield Swifts Kelty Hearts and Fife Flyers), and support services in Fife (Andy’s Man Club, CARF, mental health charity Penumbra, SAMs Cafe and Samaritans) to support this year’s campaign.

Eddie Martin, Mental Health Ambassador for Dunfermline Athletic FC said “Dunfermline Athletic is very proud to be involved as a partner in this project. Suicide is a community health problem that affects everyone. This association with Fife Health & Social Care Partnership came from the successful mental health awareness sessions that we’ve delivered at East End Park, not just for the fan base, but for the wider community as well. The message of the campaign is very important and this shows that help and great support groups are out there.

The video contains contributions from many support services available across Fife and they had this to say about their involvement in this year’s campaign:

“Citizens Advice & Rights Fife is delighted to support this suicide prevention campaign. We recognise that one concern or problem is usually linked to others and can become overwhelming, contributing to mental health wellbeing. Our team of specialist advisers can provide advice and support on a wide range of subjects including welfare benefits, debt and money, housing and employment and would urge anyone who is worried or unsure to contact us rather than issues or concerns escalating. We won’t tell you what to do but we will explain your options and possible outcomes so you are empowered to make the right choice for you”.

“Penumbra, is one of Scotland’s largest mental health charities and each week, we support 1800 adults and young people experiencing mental ill health. Here in Fife our self-harm team support people in a friendly and non-judgemental way. We provide a space for people to explore their self-harming behaviours and alternative coping strategies. We know that self-harm is too often misunderstood and so this week of suicide prevention awareness is an opportunity to bust some myths and let people know we’re here.”

“Samaritans vision is that fewer people die by suicide. We want to make sure there’s someone there for anyone who needs to talk about how they’re feeling, whatever they are facing, which is why our volunteers provide 24/7 support, 7 days a week.”

“Being part of the Fife suicide prevention campaign is in line totally with the values of Sam’s Cafe. The Sam’s team recognise there is a genuine, shared commitment within Fife to working together towards easily accessible support and a Kingdom-wide learning strategy for mental wellbeing. When it comes to awareness raising and supporting people with regards to suicide prevention, Sam’s simply and diligently endeavours to always be true to our project statement: ‘we believe in making a difference’. The team at Sam’s is passionate about suicide prevention and work tirelessly to be there for people. The team offers down to earth, understandable support that just makes sense in situations where people need access to meaningful support immediately.”

#YoureNotOnYourOwn can be accessed here: https://youtu.be/FTrLVOxDcfw

Additional information:

Social media toolkit suicide prevention

BSL signed information video