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Last Updated: Monday, 4 October, 2004, 05:58 GMT 06:58 UK
Plea to reduce Highland suicides
Depressed man
The group raised concern about the high male suicide rate
The families of three footballers who committed suicide are calling on ministers to help reduce the rate of such deaths in the Highlands.

Mark Thow, Ivor Robertson and Richard Burnside were all fathers in their 40s who played for the same amateur side.

But in separate incidents, the men - who were all from the Highlands - hanged themselves earlier this year.

Their families said raising awareness of suicide and researching common links between the deaths was vital.

Football match

The Highlands and Islands Support Group for Grieving Families was set up with the aim of helping those whose loved ones have taken their own lives.

In all, seven men have committed suicide in Inverness this summer.

The three footballers were remembered at a memorial match on Sunday in Inverness, where their former team-mates played Inverness Clach.

They joined the men's families in calling for more funding and research into suicide.

In May this year the support group called for fatal accident inquiry-style investigations into suicides in the Highlands.

In Scotland, fatal accident inquiries into suspected suicides are only called in exceptional circumstances.


SEE ALSO:
Call for full suicide inquiries
19 May 04  |  Scotland
Training to spot suicide risks
08 Sep 03  |  Scotland
Male depression fears grow
10 Jun 03  |  Scotland
'Stop the suicides' plan unveiled
02 Dec 02  |  Scotland
Helpline for depressed men
11 Mar 02  |  Scotland


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