THE recent suicide of the much-loved actor Robin Williams highlighted how suicide can affect anyone. Sport can have a positive impact on mental health and wellbeing, so a five-a-side football tournament will kick off World Suicide Prevention Week in Edinburgh next Saturday (6 September).
The Choose Life Challenge Cup will run from 9.30am until 12.30pm at Gracemount Leisure Centre on 2 Gracemount Drive with sixteen teams from Edinburgh, Midlothian, West Lothian and Dundee taking part. Among this particpants are two ladies teams from Edinburgh who will be copeting in the tournament for the first time.
Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill will be there to present the trophy and other prizes.
Event organiser John Murphy, a project worker with Scottish charity Health in Mind, believes the Choose Life Challenge Cup is a fantastic event as it offers a comfortable space for guys to get together, reduces isolation and promotes a sense of belonging.
John said: “So many young men find it hard to talk about their feelings and in 2013, there were 795 suicides recorded in Scotland, with the rate for men more than three times that of women.”
John said the event provides a great opportunity for people to find out about the issues and the services available locally. “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 supporting 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 Councils.