Glenrothes is leading the way in the expansion of a group dedicated to helping people recover from the shattering effects of a loved one’s suicide.
‘Touched By Suicide’ Scotland is a support group for people left bereaved after a close friend or relative has taken their own life.
You are among people who understand, so you don’t have to explain yourself.Jacqueline Fox
The organisation has nine sections in the west of Scotland – but, from next week, the first branch in Fife – and the first in the east of Scotland – will be launching in Glenrothes.
It stages its inaugural meeting on Tuesday, November 17, from 7pm-9pm, in the Whitehouse Community Centre, South Parks House, Napier Road.
The premises will closed later next month for the festive season, but, in the new year, TBS meetings are due to be held there on the third Tuesday of the month.
Committee member Jacqueline Fox said the group hoped to help people rebuild their lives if they were struggling with the self-inflicted loss of someone close to them.
They could draw support from those who had been through the same trauma, while TBS was also intended as a preventative group.
The effects of a suicide “rippled out” to family and friends, across the community and in workplaces, said Jacqueline.
“Statistics show that people who have experienced suicide in the family are eight times more likely to contemplate it themselves,” she added.
Suicide and its consequences could affect people in all geographical areas and from all walks of life, and the reasons for it were extremely varied.
“You’re left with the question ‘why’?” said Jacqueline. “Often, you don’t see it coming and the impact is absolutely devastating.”
The group hopes to allow people to share experiences by coming along and talking if they wish, or just listening – reassured that they are among people who have gone through the same thing.
“The support is there if you need it and you are among people who understand, so you don’t have to explain yourself,” said Jacqueline.
She and colleague Linda Donachie are currently the main figures behind the Fife group and they felt there was a definite need locally for its services.
TBS was formed in Scotland five years ago and is unique in catering specifically for people dealing with the aftermath of a suicide.
“It’s amazing the difference a group can make to people’s lives,” added Jacqueline. “You may feel you have nobody to turn to, or feel lost.
“There is still a stigma attached, so it is nice to be among people where is no element of that.”
The branch organisers will have information about counselling or other support services, but they were aware that the aftermath of a suicide may still be too painful for people to explore a group set-up.
So TBS’ Fife branch has a helpline, on which you can call Linda on 01294 274273.
The main group is based in Scotstoun, Glasgow, on 0141 584 3211.