The Highland Community Planning Partnership has - with the help of Ross County and Inverness Caledonian Thistle - launched an app to help prevent suicide in the north of Scotland.
The ‘Prevent Suicide’ app is being rolled-out in Highland as part of the Community Planning Partnership’s (CPP) plan to address levels of suicide.
The ‘Prevent Suicide’ safety plan on the app can be completed with the help of a trained listener on a helpline such as Breathing Space, a health professional or with a friend or family member.
The app also includes telephone numbers for local and national helplines which can offer support in some situations where people are feeling distressed or suicidal. There is also guidance on what members of the public can do to help someone they suspect is feeling suicidal.
Councillor Margaret Davidson, leader of the Highland Council said: It is heartening to see the partners rolling-out and promoting the use of the ‘Prevent Suicide’ app across Highland. Any opportunity to help prevent a loss of life from suicide or support anyone in distress is very welcomed indeed.”
Chief Superintendent George Macdonald from Police Scotland said: “The Highland area has a long-standing challenge linked to suicide, particularly among men.
"Respecting the complexity of each and every incident, we are consistently told by the families, friends and peers of those involved that more prevention information may have assisted them.
"This app is a new resource and approach in the Highlands having been successfully used elsewhere, including in the North East and Tayside.
"While respecting there is no single solution, we believe the app to be a step in the right direction. However, we all need to do more individually and cross-organisations to support our communities in preventing the tragic loss of more lives.
"This is one strand of ongoing cross sector work which fully recognises the challenges which are apparent in the Highlands."
The CPP have joined forces with Highland’s two professional football clubs to help launch the app.
Ross County Football Club general manager Emily Wilson said: “Our club is committed to promoting the health and wellbeing of people in Highland. We are keen to support the launch of the suicide app and promote it as a tool that will help raise awareness of what help is available and encourage people to make a plan on how to get help should they need to.”
Ross County’s co-manager Steven Ferguson gave a presentation at the launch event and said: "Everyone at Ross County Football Club are one hundred per cent behind the app. It's a positive step in educating people to help themselves or someone else and help them in identifying if they need someone to lean on. All the information is in the app so there's no excuse for us not to educate ourselves to be able to support people in our families, friend groups or workplaces."