A host of events are being held across Lanarkshire to promote Suicide Awareness Week which runs from 7-13 September.

They include a football and golf tournament, a walk around Strathclyde Park as well as awareness events giving information on good mental health at various healthcare and council locations around Lanarkshire.

NHS Lanarkshire, both North and South Lanarkshire Councils and other partners are all taking part in the awareness week.

Kevin O’Neill, NHS Lanarkshire’s public mental health and well-being development manager, said: “Suicide Awareness Week has become a major date in the health and social care calendar for both health professionals and the wider public and I think this highlights the importance everyone places on this issue.

“Every suicide is a tragedy, but we’re taking inspiration from the fact that recent suicide statistics show a 10 per cent reduction in the rates across Lanarkshire since 2002.

“I think that’s testimony to all the work the partners are undertaking locally.”

Kevin continued: “We know that if we remove the taboo and make mental health problems and thoughts of suicide easier to talk about, then we will save lives.

“That’s why this week is important as it gives us the opportunity to remind everyone that mental health can be talked about openly, and that support and understanding is something we can all offer and that services are available to help.”

International Suicide Prevention Day also falls on Thursday 10 September and events taking place on this day are a 4k and 2k walk in Strathclyde Country Park at 6pm and a ‘Gathering’ at 6.30pm in Clyde Room at Hamilton Town House to provide a space for reflection for all those touched by suicide.

For more information on both and other events, visit: www.elament.org.uk/

For help and support for your mental health, speak to your GP or if out of hours, call NHS 24 on 111.

There is also help and support available at:

• Breathing Space 0800 83 85 87 (6pm - 2am daily and 24 hours weekends) - Breathing Space is a free and confidential phone-line service for any individual, who is experiencing low mood or depression.

• ChildLine 0800 1111 - ChildLine is the free 24 hour helpline for children and young people in the UK.

• Samaritans 08457 90 90 90 or Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. - Samaritans is available 24 hours a day to provide confidential emotional support for people who are experiencing feelings of distress or despair.

• Choose Life www.chooselife.net