A series of short films aimed to encourage young people to ask for help if they are thinking about suicide have been developed by NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC) along with local partners. The films, “It’s OK to ask” by NAE Drama have been used in discussion sessions in two schools in East Glasgow, an area where there is a high rate of suicide.
Positive Mental Attitudes, part of NHSGGC, which serves the East Glasgow area has been using the films to get young people at St Mungo’s Academy and Whitehill Secondary School talking about suicide, encouraging them to seek help if in distress and asking their peers to talk to them if they notice something is wrong.
The discussion sessions in the schools have involved pupils watching the films then discussing their reactions to them along with any issues raised as well as providing advice on the most appropriate sources of support for young people.
The NAE Drama films involve young people from the north and east of the city talking about the pressures and difficulties they face every day. Whether it’s not being able to find a job and financial worries to problems with alcohol or drugs, dealing with peer pressure or high expectations from family and friends, young people can find it difficult to cope.
Every day it is estimated two people take their own lives in Scotland and it is the leading cause of death among young people.
NHSGGC health improvement and equalities manger for mental health Trevor Lakey explained: “These films prove yet again that suicide is something which can affect us all regardless of our age or background.
“Young people’s mental health and wellbeing is a major area of development and this is just one initiative designed for young people using social media. You can find the "NaeDrama" videos on Youtube and in coming months we'll be developing additional ways of supporting young people, including a partnership with Glasgow Life's Young Scot programme and a link with their social media channels and other communications with young people.
“The main message we want to get across to young people through NaeDrama is that “It’s OK to ask”. It’s OK to ask your friend how they’re feeling, it’s OK to talk about how you feel, it’s OK to ask if the way you feel is normal and it’s OK to ask for help.
“Through NaeDrama we’re encouraging young people to contact Breathing Space tel: 0800 83 85 87 or the Samaritans tel: 08457 90 90 90 to get help, talk about their worries and not feel alone.”
NHSGGC is committed to working with its partners to reduce deaths from suicide which can affect people from all ages and backgrounds. We have worked closely with the Scottish Government and local partners on the Choose Life Programme and are working on a number of innovative programmes with disadvantaged communities such as the Suicide Prevention Partnership in North and East Glasgow.
Helping to prevent suicide and supporting the mental health and wellbeing of everyone in the community, especially those most at risk is a key priority for NHSGGC.
To complement community initiatives like NaeDrama, there has also been a lot of behind the scenes work with clinical services. One major area of progress has been training close to 4000 frontline staff across Greater Glasgow and Clyde in suicide prevention skills over the last three years, meeting the Government's HEAT target by December 2010. This has included a focus on a range of clinical service areas, such as addictions, mental health, primary care, accident and emergency and children's services.
Notes to editors
NaeDrama “It’s OK to ask” is available at: http://www.youtube.com/NAEdrama
Partners offering support to young people who have thoughts about suicide include Breathing Space tel: 0800 83 85 87 or the Samaritans tel: 08457 90 90 90.
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