Thompson calls for more open conversations about mental health on World Suicide Prevention Day

Thursday September 10th 2020


Written by Midlothian View Reporter, Luke Jackson

Owen Thompson MP has called for more open and honest conversations about mental health to help create a world where fewer people die of suicide.

Mr Thompson was speaking on World Suicide Prevention Day, which he marked with an Early Day Motion in the Houses of Parliament. Suicide rates have risen in recent years, particularly amongst young people and men who are less likely to seek support and three times as likely as women to take their own lives.

The Midlothian MP backed the ‘United to Prevent Suicide’ campaign which marks a new approach to preventing suicide in Scotland, building a social movement of people from across the country, united in a shared belief that every one of us has a role to play in preventing suicide.

Mr Thompson also encouraged people who are struggling to talk to friends and family or get in touch with services such as the Samaritans or the ‘Breathing Space’ helpline. Midlothian has an online source for mental health and wellbeing information and local services at the Midspace hub.

Mr Thompson said:-

“The fact that we lose more of our young people to suicide than any other cause of death is heartbreaking. The causes are complex, but no death by suicide should be seen as inevitable and we know talking and seeking support early enough can help save lives.

“We also know men are much more likely to commit suicide than women, and there are high rates amongst middle-aged men who perhaps are less likely to be open about how they feel.

“If you are struggling don’t struggle alone. Talk to family or friends about what you’re going through, talk to your GP or get information about local services and support from Health in Mind Midlothian. You can also speak to national organisations like the Samaritans or Breathing Space Scotland, or seek more tailored support such as Men’s Share Midlothian, or LGBT Health – there are people out there who understand how you feel.

“The pandemic restrictions in 2020 have made it much more difficult for people to connect with others – something human beings are hard-wired to do. For those that already faced challenges it has been a nightmare, and it’s vital we all do our bit to connect with others in our community.

“Our Mental Health Services, voluntary groups and charities are working hard to help provide support for people suffering and I thank them for all their efforts, particularly with such increasing demand in these challenging times.

“It’s not all down to the professionals though – all of us have all have a role to play in being kind to ourselves and others and building a society where fewer people die of suicide. I would urge everyone to join the ‘United To Prevent Suicide’ movement and make Scotland a more supportive country for everyone.”

Places to get help and support:

United to Prevent Suicide:

Health in Mind Midlothian:


Men’s Share Midlothian:

Samaritans: Call 116 123 or download their self-help app at

Breathing Space Scotland 0800 8385 87

LGBT Health 0300 123 2523

Childline 0800 1111

See Me Scotland Young People Support:

Scotland’s Suicide Prevention Action Plan:

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