After a successful first event in 2022, Moray will host four free ‘Walk of Hope’ events this September – Cooper Park Elgin on the 2nd, Grant Park Forres 3rd, Byres Farm Fochabers 9th and new bridge Lossiemouth 10th. Aiming to bring a positive approach to suicide awareness, the event provides an opportunity to remember those lost to suicide, express solidarity to those living with suicidal thoughts, and raise awareness in an inclusive way. Walks start at 5.40am, all are welcome and anyone keen to attend is asked to register for the final details to ensure there is capacity and support.
The event, hosted by local social movement for change Moray Wellbeing Hub, is just one of a range of events that members of the North East Suicide Prevention Working Group have organised for Suicide Awareness Week such as the launch of the annual Moray suicide prevention survey. This includes partners such as Active Recovery Moray, Health & Social Care Moray, Moray Council and Police Scotland.
“Last year we had 21 people join us at Lossiemouth aged from 7 to 70, plus a few friendly dogs. People enjoyed the community approach, there were tears as well as laughter…shared stories as well as silence.” Explains Moray Wellbeing Hub Social Movement & Enterprise Lead Heidi Tweedie.
“This year we have expanded the locations beyond the beach to include, urban, woodland and rural spaces. We hope many more people can join us to see the dawn and give hope around a subject that is painful and still too often taboo.”
The theme for World Suicide Day 2023, as set by the International Association for Suicide Prevention is ‘creating hope through action’. A theme that links strongly with Moray Wellbeing Hub’s ongoing project ‘Collective Action in Wellbeing For Moray 22-25’ funded by the National Lottery Community Fund – Improving Lives. As well as supporting the walk events, the project has resourced community members to receive training and support around mental health activism. Anyone keen to make a change is welcome to join future activity.
For those keen to have their views and ideas on how we can prevent suicide in Moray an online survey is being promoted to gather ideas. Information on this can be found by contacting Moray Wellbeing Hub, or visiting their website news section at www.moraywellbeinghub.org.uk
If you are concerned about your own challenging thoughts or want to be prepared to support someone you care about, a local app is available to support with all the links including how to create a safe plan. This can be downloaded from www.preventsuicideapp.com