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Cole-Hamilton demands improvements in mental health support for those who witness suicide or trauma

May 9, 2019 5:00 PM
Originally published by Scottish Liberal Democrats

Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP and Janice Malone have today launched a campaign to improve the mental health support available for witnesses of trauma or suicide, after they both witnessed the suicide of a man in central Edinburgh four years ago.

Alex Cole-Hamilton said:

"Janice and I have launched this campaign because we want to ensure that anyone who witnesses distressing or traumatic incidents, like the suicide that we saw, can easily get help and find someone to talk to in the weeks and months afterwards, when they may not be feeling like themselves.

"People die in the arms of strangers every day but we never think about the strangers afterwards. In the wake of these tragedies many witnesses are left with horrendous anxiety, or bouts of depression and PTSD.

"Janice and I want to use our experience to help other people. I hope the Health Secretary will support us in addressing the insufficient mental health support for the witnesses of suicide or trauma.

"There is a horrible ripple effect on the friends and family of anyone who commits suicide. But it's time we recognised that the ripple also effects witnesses and strangers walking by. We need to make sure they get help too."