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High Life Highland Libraries partner with Samaritans Scotland for National Suicide Prevention Week

High Life Highland and Samaritans staff members showcase bookmarks at Inverness Library

Every 10 seconds, a Samaritans volunteer will answer a call for help from someone who may be considering taking their own life.

In recognition of National Suicide Prevention Week (Sunday 10th September to Saturday 16th September 2023), High Life Highland have partnered with Samaritans to raise awareness of the importance of Samaritans services for those who need it most.

One way in which this partnership has taken form is in the dissemination of free bookmarks to High Life Highland’s Libraries across the Highlands. These bookmarks contain the contact details for Samaritans, and serve as reminders that there are people who are here to listen when times are tough.

Julie Corcoran, High Life Highland’s Head of Libraries, shared: “High Life Highland is pleased to be collaborating with the Samaritans for National Suicide Prevention Week.

“High Life Highland’s main aim is to make lives better through delivering services for Highland communities. We also signpost communities to partners services such as the Samaritans, who provide emotional support for those in distress, struggling to cope or at risk of suicide.

“By helping Samaritans to raise awareness of the services it offers to Highland communities, even in the small but gentle and useful form of a bookmark, we can together work to prevent suicide.”

Fiona Thompson, Samaritans Scotland West Highlands and Skye Project Manager, shared: “We know that issues of isolation, access to health services and stigma can often make seeking help and support challenging in a rural area.

“Our West Highlands and Skye project aims to raise awareness of Samaritans services by engaging with local communities across the area, and we are delighted to have the support of High Life Highland in helping us achieve this.

“We hope as many people as possible pick up a free bookmark at their local library – and that it encourages anyone who needs support to reach out.”

Steve Walsh, High Life Highland’s Chief Executive, concluded: “As a charity with the aim of making lives better, High Life Highland is proud to be partnering with Samaritans to ensure that Highland communities are aware of the services they provide.

“Ensuring that these bookmarks are made widely available throughout High Life Highland’s Libraries has been a top priority in recognition of National Suicide Prevention Week, so thank you to staff for making this possible.

“Samaritans has 19 branches spread across Scotland, whose volunteers are at the other end of the phone 24/7, 365-days-a-year, ready to listen. When picking up a bookmark, my hope is that members of each Highland community will keep this in mind.”

At present, Samaritans bookmarks can be found at 41 of High Life Highlands Libraries. Here are a list of the 35 main sites:

Thurso, Wick, Inverness, Inshes, Dingwall, Lochcarron, Muir of Ord, Beauly, Dornoch, Golspie, Brora, Helmsdale, Lairg, Bonar bridge, Plockton, Kyle Broadford, Portree, Glenurquhart, Fort William, Ardnamurchan, Alness, Invergordon, Tain, Fortrose, Cromarty, Culloden, Ardersier, Nairn, Grantown, Aviemore, Badenoch, Gairloch, Ullapool, and Achiltibuie.

The remaining six sites are High Life Highland’s Mobile Libraries: Dingwall and Moray Firth Mobile, Brora Mobile, Skye Mobile, Fort William Mobile, Invergordon Mobile, West Ross Mobile.

More information on Samaritans and how to get in touch can be found at the following link: https://www.samaritans.org/how-we-can-help/contact-samaritan/