Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron has shared a message remembering those who have lost their lives to suicide.
Renfrewshire’s annual memorial service, hosted by support group Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide (SOBS), was unable to go ahead this year due to Covid-19 restrictions, however Provost Cameron visited the memorial tree last month to switch on the lights and lay flowers in memory of those who have been lost.
The memorial tree outside Renfrewshire House was first dedicated in 2010 as a permanent memorial to those who have died through suicide and is believed to have been the first of its kind in Scotland.
Provost Cameron, who helped establish the tree, said: “The memorial service is extremely important to members of the local community and I am sorry we are unable to gather in person this year.
“We hope that as restrictions begin to ease we will be able to distribute the commemorative purple hearts at locations in the community so those who wish to, can collect one, and visit the tree to leave their messages at a time of their choosing. In the meantime, if you would like us to place a heart on your behalf you can get in touch with your message.
“Suicide is still very much a taboo subject and, given the stresses of the Covid19 pandemic, it is more important now than ever before, to not only provide support to those who have been affected by suicide, but also to highlight the help that is available for those who are struggling with their own mental health.
“Please get in touch with someone if you are finding things difficult right now. You don’t need to suffer in silence.”
If you wish a heart to be placed on the tree, you can send your message by email to chooselife.sw@renfrewshire.
If you are feeling suicidal, or you know someone that might be then please call one of the helpline numbers: Samaritan’s 116 123, Breathing Space 0800 83 85 87, RAMH First Crisis 0141 849 90 90 or 0800 221 8929.