Conversation Cafés to help mark Suicide Prevention Day

Conversation Cafes are being held this week on 14 routes across Scotland.
Conversation Cafes are being held this week on 14 routes across Scotland.

Conversation Cafés will be set up in railway station across Scotland this week to offer support to people as part of World Suicide Prevention Day on September 10.

Organised by the ScotRail Alliance, the cafés will involve representatives from the Samaritans, NH24 Breathing Space, Railway Chaplains, SAMH and other organisations, who will meet and talk with customers using train services.

The teams will consist of small groups travelling around the rail network, engaging passengers in conversations about mental health issues and signposting them, or their friends and family, to someone they can talk to in confidence when they are feeling down.

Conversation Cafés will be delivered on 14 routes across Scotland, and stalls will be set up at Inverness, Haymarket, Edinburgh Waverley, Glasgow Central and Aberdeen stations.

Iluska Sandor, ScotRail Alliance safety validation manager, said: “We are proud to be supporting World Suicide Prevention Day again this year by working with other groups to encourage people to seek help if they need it.

“Offering a smile and a hello, as well as information about where professional support can be found, could make a big difference to people’s lives. If even just one person who is going through a difficult time can get the help they need, then it will be worthwhile.”

Sheila Ottiwell, Samaritans regional director for Scotland, also said the scheme’s partner organisations are pleased to be involved.

She continued: “Suicide affects so many people each year, and these community events can help us reach a huge number of people across Scotland.

“The latest suicide figures in Scotland for 2016 showed the first increase in six years, which further highlights the importance of community activities such as these.”