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Glasgow Marks World Suicide Prevention Day

A ceremony to mark World Suicide Prevention Day will take place in Glasgow on Friday (Sept 10th) after being cancelled due to the pandemic in 2020.

This year’s Celebration of Life is scheduled to go ahead at Gartnavel Hospital between 1pm and 2pm on Friday after being cancelled last year due to Coronavirus.

The poignant event for people touched by suicide will be shorter than in previous years and anyone who wants to take part will have to register in advance, but people will be able to meet in person.

Participants can light candles and tie ribbons to a tree in the Tranquility Garden at Campbell House or simply take time for contemplation. There will also be a reading by Stewart Moore of Glasgow Health & Social Care Partnership’s Suicide Prevention team.

Earlier in the day, Glasgow City Council representatives and members of the city’s Suicide Prevention team will also join campaigners walking from Firhill to the city chambers to raise awareness of gambling-related suicides.

Gambling With Lives is holding a Big Step event to highlight gambling harms. The charity supports families who have been bereaved by gambling-related suicides and estimates that they account for up to 650 deaths a year in the UK. It is also campaigning for a ban on gambling advertising and sponsorship in football.

Bailie Annette Christie plans to join the walk which will take place ahead of Glasgow City Council’s online Gambling Summit which is supported by Public Health Scotland and the UK Gambling Commission.

The virtual summit will bring together people with lived experience of gambling harms with experts in practice, research and policy to share knowledge, insights and ideas on tackling gambling harms in a world adapting to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. It will take place on Microsoft Teams over two half days on September 13th and 14th.

Bailie Christie, Chair of the council’s Wellbeing, Empowerment, Community and Citizen Engagement City Policy Committee, said: “Glasgow has had a longstanding problem with gambling, but we need to acknowledge that traditional approaches aren’t working.

“We should treat gambling with the same vigour as other public health problems. We need to take into account the different policy areas that could be influential in preventing the devastation that gambling harm brings to so many individuals and their families.

“From raising awareness of the problems, stopping the stigma and listening to those directly impacted, the summit will help us design a framework for a public health approach that prioritises education and early intervention as well as treatment and support for those who are vulnerable to gambling harm.”

Michelle Stebbings, Head of Outreach and Engagement at Gambling With Lives, urged Glasgow residents to support The Big Step campaign by holding their own walk, recording the number of miles completed and posting photos on social media.

Campaign T-shirts can be collected from Glasgow Council for the Voluntary Sector (GCVS), the Albany Centre, 44 Ashley Street, Glasgow.

Michelle said: “With someone taking their life every day in the UK because of gambling, we are calling for gambling to be made safer, including an end to all gambling advertising and inducements.

“We hope this walk raises awareness of the dangerous effects of gambling on mental health and the high suicide risk.”

  • If you or anyone close to you is struggling with issues of suicide, please seek help, either from your GP, the Samaritans (call free on 116 123) or Breathing Space (call free on 0800 83 84 85 87)

Find out more at www.yoursupportglasgow.org/chooselife.aspx

If you are having serious thoughts about suicide and have a plan and the means to carry it out, call 999 immediately.

Anyone wishing take part in the Celebration of Life event at Gartnavel Hospital should emailtracey.jenkins@gcvs.org.uk to register.

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