Samaritans plea after latest bridge plunge

Tweed Bridge, Galashiels.
Tweed Bridge, Galashiels.

THE chairperson of the Borders Samaritans says she is “very saddened” after a local man fell to his death from a bridge near Galashiels.

The incident occurred on Friday morning at the busy crossing over the River Tweed on the A6091 trunk road, which was closed for a short time, just east of the town.

The location has become a chillingly familiar symbol of the tragedy of suicide, although police were unable to specify this week how many people had died or been seriously injured after jumping from the structure.

Floral tributes are regular features on the parapet, along with signs promoting the Samaritans, pictured.

The bridge is also where those taking part in the annual Suicide Prevention Week walk from Selkirk to Galashiels pause for reflection.

Another walk is planned for September, while Sunday, July 24, has been designated Samaritans Day, reflecting the 24/7 service offered by the Selkirk-based charity.

Arabella Lewis, chair of the Border Samaritans, told us: “Every suicide is a tragedy and that’s why our trained volunteers are available to offer confidential, non-judgmental support to anyone struggling to cope or feeling suicidal.

“We believe talking about your situation can help alleviate despair.”

Anyone who is feeling down, depressed, anxious or stressed can call the Samaritans on 08457 90 90 90 or 01750 20000. They can also email jo@samaritans.org or visit the local office at 21 West Port, Selkirk.

Last year, the health improvement unit at NHS Borders recorded 13 suicides in the region, although the 10-year annual average is 16.