Renfrewshire’s annual memorial service to those who have lost their lives to suicide was held last week.

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Local support group Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide (SOBS) hosted the short service in partnership with Renfrewshire’s Choose Life service on Thursday 19 January at the memorial tree outside Renfrewshire House.

The service was led by Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron who laid a commemorative wreath at the memorial tree. Attendees were able to place a purple heart onto the tree with a message to a loved one that has been lost.

Provost Cameron, who helped establish the memorial tree in 2010, said: “This service provides a chance for those who have lost a loved one to grieve, remember and celebrate the person they have lost.

“This year we offered the opportunity to sit and have a cup of tea and a chat both before and after the service. Suicide can still be a taboo subject so sometimes talking and meeting with other people who really understand you can be the path to embracing life again.

“If you’ve been affected by suicide in any manner, please get in touch with the Choose Life team. They’ll be available for a chat and can provide you with the support you, or a friend or family member, needs to move forward.”

The memorial tree 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.

If you were unable to attend the service but would still like to have a heart placed on the tree in memory of a loved one, please contact the Choose Life team at chooselife.sw@renfrewshire.gov.uk  

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 0500 829 093

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