SUICIDE awareness was at the heart of a talk in Alloa this week.

The event was organised on World Suicide Prevention Day, held on September 10, and was hosted by CTSi at the Liberal Club.

Around 20 people – including representatives from Police Scotland, the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, charities and groups as well as interested individuals – went along on the day to hear how national prevention plans are being implemented locally.

A representative from the Clackmannanshire and Stirling Health and Social Care Partnership explained how the thought of suicide, even if for a fleeting moment, occurs naturally when people are facing a difficult time in their life, but most will reject the idea.

It was highlighted that people do not want to die, they just want their problems to go away and in a small but significant number of cases, suicide seems to be the only resolution.

The Alloa Advertiser has previously campaigned to encourage more people, especially young men in the Wee County, to talk about their own mental health.

Earlier this year, the Advertiser launched a column, asking members of the public to share their experiences.

However, talking about suicide is still a cultural taboo and those attending the event this week heard about the need to shatter the stigma.

People are being encouraged to take all signs of distress seriously and to talk to others openly about their feelings in a bid to save their life, even if the person in question appears to be living a normal life.

Shiona Strachan, the partnership’s chief officer, explained: “Ask if they are thinking about suicide.

“It won’t put the thought into their head if it wasn’t there before, but it can be a big relief for them to be able to open up fully and acknowledge they need help and support.

“By taking the time to show you care and are there to listen, you could change their life.”

The event was also an opportunity to launch the Suicide prevention Crisis Card across Clackmannanshire and Stirling – these include a range of services with local and national numbers to call.

Organisations can organise prevention talks for staff by contacting or calling 01259215048