Memorial to remember thousands who die from addiction or suicide

George square

A poignant ceremony is set to be held in Glasgow this week to call for action 

4th September 2018 by Gareth Jones 2 Comments

A poignant ceremony is being held to mark the loss of more than two thousand lives to drug and suicide in Scotland next year

On Thursday (6 September) people from across the country will gather at George Square, Glasgow, to attend a public remembrance ceremony for those who have died as a result of addiction to alcohol or drugs or suicide.

The event will also call for the Scottish Government to declare a public health emergency due to the amount of people who have lost their lives in recent years.

Last year, 2,849 people died from drug and alcohol related causes and suicide in Scotland, and organisers of the event have said this is not acceptable.

Scottish Recovery Consortium chief executive Kuladharini said: “While these deaths represent only the tip of the iceberg of our collective distress, so many more people are living lives of quiet desperation and mental distress, society and services are struggling to respond.

“The organisations and individuals taking part in the public remembrance ceremony in George Square feel that many of themajor health challenges we face are, in fact, not separate issues but different manifestations of our collective distress. We numb our distress with alcohol and drugs.

“Overwhelmed emotional and physical coping mechanisms result in mental and physical health problems. Quiet desperation is often soothed with smoking and overeating. We are neither criminals nor weak minded; we are humans having a very human response to the growing tragedy of personal traumas exacerbated by alienation from power, and disconnection in the community.”

To help people make a connection to the scale of the loss, people from all over Scotland have been making wooden flowers to mark the life of a person they loved and lost to drugs, alcohol or suicide. They will be planted in George Square from 12.30pm.

The ceremony will also feature speakers from Recovery Walk Scotland 2018 and Families affected by Murder and Suicide, prayers and reflection by faith community leaders and the mobile Changing Stigma to Respect exhibition.

The initiative has been backed by a number of Scottish charities, including the Scottish Drugs Forum, Addaction Scotland and Alcohol Focus. It takes place ahead of the Recovery Walk, on Saturday, 15 September, which will see hundreds of organisations show their support for collection action on mental health and addiction issues.

5th September 2018 by Joni

nearly 3000 people have died from addiction or suicide last year in Scotland ...truly awful! more needs to be done to support people dealing with the trauma and despair that leads to drugs , alcohol and mental health issues. The increasing cutbacks affect the most vulnerable in society which is evidenced in the extremely high amount of deaths from addictions and or mental health issues which could be further increased given the increasingly lack of resources to support vulnerable people. More prevention work needs to be done before these figures start to decrease !

11th September 2018 by Stacey Parker

The ceremony will also feature speakers from Recovery Walk Scotland 2018 and Families affected by Murder and Suicide, prayers and reflection by faith community leaders and the mobile Changing Stigma to Respect exhibition