A JOINER for East Ayrshire Council has accelerated the council’s suicide prevention campaign by coming up with the idea of installing new graphics on council vehicles to raise awareness while out on the roads.

Here to Listen was introduced two years ago to help prevent further lives being lost to suicide and to provide support throughout East Ayrshire to those in crisis.

Now the Asset Services team are upping the campaign by installing new suicide prevention graphics on council vehicles, an idea headed up by joiner Cameron Girvan.

Cameron, 25, from Muirkirk, said: “I got involved with suicide prevention after seeing the effects it has on families throughout our communities during the process of suicide happening. From when they first see the signs and not being able to help and not knowing who could help, and to the aftermath of losing someone to suicide.

“I wanted to be able to give people in need someone to turn to, someone who could help and be able to show them that there are plenty of organisations that can help them get through a traumatic time in their lives.

“I have noticed since Here to Listen started that our employees have taken notice of it and have been looking after each other and some have come to us and shown their concern for their colleagues, which I think is brilliant.

“Years ago that would have never happened but now people do take note of it.”

The team are also keen to promote the campaign as they have witnessed the effects of suicide first hand.

Barry Young, from Housing Asset Services, said: “In Housing Asset Services we lost one of our employees to suicide which was heartbreaking for the family, and also for the employees who knew him and worked with him. If I can prevent someone else from taking their own life and get them the help that they need then I will do that.

“Since doing the training I have been involved directly with four interventions, both within the workplace and within our local community, in each of these occasions we have been successful in getting the person the help that they required.

“The partnership with the council and the charity Beautiful Inside and Out has been instrumental in providing the support. During one of the interventions I was involved in, the individual was speaking to a counsellor within two hours of me first making contact with them.”