AN event is to be held next month to allow family and friends of suicide victims in the Borders to commemorate their loved ones.

The Memorial for People Bereaved by Suicide event will take place on Saturday, December 7 at the Haining estate near Selkirk.

Co-organiser Lesley Stewart, whose son Andrew took his own life, said: “Attitudes around mental health have improved greatly, and people are starting to open up about their mental health and wellbeing.

"Unfortunately there is still a huge stigma around suicide - people would rather cross the street than ask you how you are after someone close to you has died by suicide, which can be a really lonely experience at a difficult time in your life.

"We hope that by organising this event we can reach out to others who have lost someone to suicide and show them that they are not alone.”

The Memorial for People Bereaved by Suicide event aims to give anyone affected by suicide the opportunity to remember and celebrate the lives of those they have lost.

And also connect with people with similar experiences.

Attendees will also have the opportunity to tie a ribbon on the Clootie Tree in memory of their loved ones.

Allyson McCollam, associate director of Public Health at NHS Borders, told us: “With such a close community in the Scottish Borders we know that the impact of suicide is significant, not only for family members, friends and colleagues but for whole communities.

"This inaugural event offers an opportunity for those people affected by suicide, whether personally or through their work, to come together and celebrate the lives of those lost to suicide.”

In Scotland, around two people die by suicide every day.

The number of people affected by each of these deaths is significant, with an average of four people suffering intense grief.

The event takes place on Saturday, December 7 from 12.30pm to 2.30pm at The Haining.