Government chiefs have agreed to discuss mental health and teenage suicide following the launch of a weekly newspaper’s campaign.
HTFP reported in May how the Wishaw Press had launched its ‘Time to Talk’ campaign following the deaths of four young men on its patch in the preceding weeks.
After Motherwell and Wishaw MP Marion Fellows highlighted the paper’s campaign in a letter to Scotland’s new Minister for Mental Health Clare Haughey, the two have now agreed to meet to discuss the matter.
The Press splashed on the latest update for its campaign in its current edition.
Editor Kenny Barr told HTFP: “The Wishaw Press is now eight weeks into our Time to Talk campaign and the feedback from our community has been fantastic. As well as continuing to encourage the conversation about mental health, which was always the main aim, we’ve been delighted to see real progress in tackling the issues raised.
“A recent Scottish Government announcement of an extra £3 million for a suicide prevention fund was welcome news, as was our local authority’s decision to offer, for the first time, free leisure and fitness sessions for young people with mental health problems.
“We are currently working with the council to ensure every high school in our region has access to a fully trained mental health professional and we are also keen to encourage peer-to-peer support with the classrooms.”
He added: “Nothing will ever bring back the four young men from the Wishaw area who this year ended their own lives but, with the continued support from their friends and families, we are seeing some really positive steps being taken to prevent future tragedies. Eight weeks ago we started talking about mental health and suicide. It’s encouraging to know people are listening.”