Police Scotland has thrown its support behind Suicide Prevention Week 2017.

If you can read between the lines, you can save lives. That’s the message Choose Life continues to send out to people in Scotland to mark this year’s Suicide Prevention Week (4 – 10 September 2017).

Last year, 728 people in Scotland took their own lives. The emotional impact on families, friends and communities bereaved by suicide is devastating and can have long lasting negative effects on those left behind.

The continuing Choose Life ‘read between the lines’ campaign, asks everyone to be alert to the warning signs of suicide in people close to them. The message is:

“….if you’re worried about someone, such as a friend, family member or workmate, asking them directly about their feelings can help to save their life.”

Chief Superintendent John McKenzie said, “We are working with partners across many communities in Scotland, handing out leaflets, talking about suicide and suicide prevention, with the aim of providing information and where needed, signposting to places where help can be provided.”

The campaign acknowledges that signs of suicide can be difficult to spot, but encourages people to take all signs of distress seriously, even if it seems a person is living a normal life. It also aims to assure people that asking a person about what’s troubling them can make a positive difference.

People who have tried to take their life often talk movingly about reaching the point where they could see no alternative. Despite this, they also had a strong desire to live but wanted someone to intervene and stop them from ending their life. This helps us understand that the words and actions of others are important and by taking a minute to show you care and asking directly about suicide, you could change their life.