Aug 282013

ChooseLifeLogoThe Choose Life Challenge Cup, Lothian Five-a-Side Football Tournament will take place on Saturday 7 September from 9.30am until 12.30pm at Gracemount Leisure Centre, 22 Gracemount Drive, Edinburgh, EH16 6RN.

John Murphy is a Project Worker with Scottish charity Health in Mind and as the event organiser he believes the Choose Life Challenge Cup is a fantastic event for ‘kicking off’ Suicide Prevention Week which runs until Saturday 14 September.

John continued:

So many young men find it hard to talk about their feelings and football is one of a number of activities that promotes a sense of belonging, reduces isolation and offers a comfortable space for guys to get together.

The event provides a great opportunity to find out about the issues and the services available locally.

Teams from Edinburgh, Mid, East and West Lothian are taking part but would we like more teams to register as well as people to come along and support the tournament on the day.

John is keen to point out that finding out about the issues means we can help the people we care about.

If there’s someone you know who you think might be considering suicide; ask them and be willing to listen and encourage them to get help – you could help save their life.

Alternatively if you are feeling suicidal, don’t hide it; find someone you trust and talk to them.

The Choose Life Campaign is part of the national strategy and action plan to prevent suicide in Scotland.

The partners in the Choose Life Challenge Cup – Lothian Five-a-Side Football Tournament are: NHS Lothian, East Lothian Council, The City of Edinburgh Council, Midlothian and West Lothian Council.

To register your team or find out more, contact John Murphy on 0131 663 1616.

Mar 212013

Eastspace Mental Health Website LaunchAccessing East Lothian’s new mental health information website is a piece of cake!

One in four people will experience some form of mental health issue in their life and for many individuals and their families, it can be a lonely, frightening and worrying time.*

From today, (Thursday 21 March), residents living in East Lothian will be able to access information about local mental health and wellbeing services from a new website,

Jamie Morris from NHS Psychological Therapies commented:

If someone is worried about themselves or a friend or if they are a carer, a health professional or simply want to find out more about mental health and wellbeing services in the area, the website will signpost them to appropriate services and help them to make informed choices.

The website was developed by key partners: NHS Lothian, who fund the project; Health in Mind, who manage the website; East Lothian Council; CHANGES community health project and service users, their carers and workers.

Gary Smith from the CHANGES community health project said:

As well as helping people to make informed choices about treatment and care, the website can help someone to explore self-help opportunities and maintain their positive mental health and wellbeing.

The website Service Directory contains easily accessible information such as:

  • Contact numbers for anyone needing immediate help
  • A Service Directory highlighting  eighty-eight different, local organizations
  • Fact sheets covering a variety of topics from “Advocacy” to “Volunteering”
  • News, Events and Training opportunities
  • Self-help
  • Help for a Friend
  • Recovery
  • Optional e-bulletin.

Flora Sharp, Health in Mind Information Resource Worker is the website administrator and she commented:

The website will enable local people to access the information they need at a time and a place of their choosing.


*Figures from NHS Health Scotland – Scotland’s mental health first aid manual

Aug 222012

Most folk nowadays knows someone who has been directly or indirectly affected by a suicide.

To those involved it is tragic and often misunderstood.

Unfortunately, Scotland heads the league table in Britain when it comes to suicide rates and it has done so for the last 30 or 40 years.

East Lothian FM have been invited to work in conjunction with Choose Life – East Lothian, Changes from Musselburgh and NHS Lothian, by presenting a series of live discussions on air in conjunction with Suicide Prevention Week, which will be running nationally from Monday 10th, to Friday 14th. September.

Each discussion will take place and broadcast daily shortly after 10.00 a.m. each morning.

This is part of a Scottish-wide national awareness campaign designed to draw the attention of the public to this most dreadful of occurrences.

The discussions will involve a cross section of people from all walks of life who regularly come into contact with patients and families of patients – including specialists, councillors and patient mentors and will include such topics as how to identify the early signs, what to do and who to turn to for help.

Extensive training courses are freely available in East Lothian for people who think they might benefit if they find themselves in the close environment of a potential victim and we will explore just what and where advice on these courses can be found.

However, and more importantly, we will be talking openly and frankly about a subject that even in these days of liberalism and social reform, is still regarded by many as Taboo.

Whether or not listeners have been affected by this most disturbing of deep and personal problems, these frank discussions will serve to make people much more aware of the front line and back-up services that are to be had here in East Lothian.