Son's suicide sparks fathers campaign

Alan Ritchie died in 2015 Credit: ITV Border

A man from Lockerbie who lost his son to suicide is raising awareness of the support that Samaritans can provide at this time of year.

Frank Ritchie has successfully campaigned for a poster for the charity to be installed, at the railway station where his son Alan died in 2015, when he was 31.

He says that helping someone in distress can easily be done by making small talk:

The Samaritans have been involved with railway companies for many years and up to 11,000 station staff are trained to spot the signs of someone feeling troubled.

Frank's local MSP Oliver Mundell is among those backing his activities to raise awareness:

Frank says he is hopeful people won't turn the other way if they think somebody might be showing the signs of a mental health issue in public.

He says you should look out for somebody who:

  • appears distressed

  • appears to be upset

  • is standing alone or further up the platform

  • appears agitated

  • isn't acting in the same manor as everyone else

For more information about the service Samaritans provides click here.

See Pam Royle's interview with Samaritans: