A bench has been unveiled by suicide prevention campaigners in Edinburgh.
Representatives from Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide (SOBS) and Choose Life unveiled the bench at the Royal Botanic Gardens on Thursday (7 September), ahead of Suicide Prevention Week (10-16 September).
The campaigners hope the bench, which is inscribed “I loved you at your darkest and I love you still”, will raise awareness of suicide and provide a place for people affected to come for reflection and support.
SOBS began in 1991 as a small gathering of people in a living room in Hull. It has since grown to become the only national charity providing dedicated support to adults who have been bereaved by suicide. It has around 150 volunteers across the UK, including a group based in Edinburgh.
Shirley Henderson from SOBS in Edinburgh said the support provided by the group was invaluable to her.
“When I lost my eldest son Roy, the father of two of my grandchildren, in 2011 it was traumatic. Nothing can prepare you for the intense grief of loss through suicide. It has now been over six years and the ripples are always there. The pain never goes away, you only learn how to live with it.
“SOBS provided me with a space where I could meet people who have experienced loss in this way. It is a space to empathise with others and be free to talk about your loss. To meet with people and feel you are not alone is helpful and reassuring.
“I am extremely thankful to the SOBS members who have given their time and energy to help me and so many people. Through this group a lovely space for reflection and support has been created with the memorial bench.”
The unveiling was supported by Choose Life, a suicide and self harm prevention programme funded by the Scottish Government, and also attended by representatives from the Scottish mental health charity Penumbra.
For more information contact Robin Murphy on 0131 475 2569 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.