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Renfrewshire support group Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide (SOBS) are holding an open evening for those who have lost a loved one to suicide.

The informal meeting will take place on Wednesday 16 December between 6:30 and 8pm at the Wynd Centre, 6 School Wynd, Paisley. There will be a chance to chat over mince pies, tea and coffee for those in attendance.

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SOBS are a self-help organisation and aim to provide a safe, confidential environment in which bereaved people can share their experiences and feelings.

From January the Renfrewshire group will meet on the last Wednesday of every month at the Wynd Centre and anyone who feels they can benefit from the support the group offer is encouraged to come along.

Councillor Iain McMillan, Convenor of Renfrewshire Council’s Social Work, Health and Policy Board, said: “I would encourage anyone who has been affected by suicide to come along to the open evening. The support group continue to do brilliant work and it is a vital resource within such a sensitive subject.

“It is extremely important that we open discussion over the issue of suicide. Talking really can save lives so if you, or someone you know, could benefit from the group then please come along.”

Lisa Aitken, Choose Life Young Person’s Resource Worker said: “The group is in place to offer an outlet for those affected by suicide to seek the support needed when coming to terms with the issue.

“It is imperative that we raise awareness and ensure that people feel comfortable to take about their issues. This event, and others like it, is important to increase communication and make people aware that support is there should they need it.

“If you are worried someone may be suicidal then please speak with them- it could be vital. If you are feeling suicidal then there is help available, don’t keep it to yourself.”

The National SOBS helpline can be reached on 0844 561 6855, and the number for Breathing Space is 0800 83 85 87.

Locally residents of Renfrewshire can contact FIRSTCrisis on 0141 848 9090.

For more information on the monthly SOBS meetings call 0141 849 2200 or emailelizabeth.aitken@renfrewshire.gov.uk.