Suicide prevention film aired

Written by: Sam Phipps | Published:

A short film made to raise awareness of mental health in young people and prevent suicide will be shown in all Glasgow secondary schools.

Bridge Curricular, a resource developed at St Andrew’s Secondary by a member of the drama department, involves three 40-minute activities based around Bridge, which was originally released at the Glasgow Film Theatre in 2018.

The materials have been trialled and evaluated by 20 pupils from S5 and S6 and will be made available to everyone in those years across the city from this month, supporting existing suicide prevention work in schools.

Bridge, which was shot at Kelvin Bridge in the west of the city, was made by independent production company StoneScissorsPaper.

Every Glasgow secondary school has access to counsellors via Life Link, a scheme provided through an NHS contract that runs until June.

Late last year the Scottish government and local authorities association Cosla agreed a £60 million deal to provide counsellors to all Scottish pupils over the age of 10 from September 2020.

One in eight young people experiences a mental health problem according to the NHS, with more than three quarters of mental health issues starting by the age of 20.

At least 11 per cent of 18 to 34-year-olds have reported an attempt of suicide and 16 per cent say they have self-harmed at some point.

Suicide is the largest cause of death for people under-35. Young people facing mental health issues are eight times likelier to have contact with criminal justice services.

Children affected by learning disabilities are four times likelier to have a diagnosable mental health problem and 40 per cent of LGBT+ young people considered their mental wellbeing to be affected.

A working group set up by Glasgow’s education services in 2018 identified a need for specific guidance on mental health and wellbeing policy at schools and other establishments.

Key themes of this new guidance included highlighting the names of lead members of staff who are trained in specific interventions including mental health first aid and Applied Suicide Skills Intervention Training (ASSIT).

It also promotes teaching about mental health, warning signs and sign-posting to support when a concern is raised.
Over the past four years Glasgow council has offered training to pupils in S5 and S6 on SafeTALK, a suicide awareness intervention accredited by NHS Education Scotland. It prepares young people to ask another person if they are thinking about suicide and then helps them to access more specialist support.


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