COUNCILLORS have been told of the range of practical support that's available in Dunfermline for suicide prevention.

And they want to make sure anyone who is in despair or struggling with their mental health knows where they can get help.

A report by Mary-Grace Burinski, from the Fife Health and Social Care Partnership, said there was a range of services and support which requires no referral or appointment, "meaning those who need to access support can do so without any barrier".

Suicide prevention support in Dunfermline includes:

l SAM’s Cafe, which runs Thursdays and Sundays, noon to 8pm, at Going Forth, First House, Woodmill Road, and provides support for mental health issues, crisis and suicidal thoughts.

l Andy’s Man Club, Mondays at 7pm, Erskine Building, 4 Pilmuir Street, a talking group and a place for men to come together in a safe environment.

l Women’s Wellbeing Club, Tuesday evenings, currently online but looking for premises, it is a community support group run for women.

l Dunfermline Athletic and The Pars Foundation, a ‘walk and talk’ every Friday at 10am, venues differ each week, a support group for mental health and suicide prevention.

l Women in Mind, Tuesdays 7-9pm at St Ninian’s Church in Abbeyview, a safe, confidential and non-judgemental place to talk, share and offload for women.

l Dunfermline Men’s Shed, a new venture for men that will be a place of informal learning and skill-sharing, of individual pursuits and community projects, of purpose, achievement and social interaction.

The City of Dunfermline area committee was also reassured that the pandemic does not appear to have led to an increase in suicides in the Kingdom.

A report by Ms Burinski said: "The numbers of probable suicides in Fife have fluctuated over recent years (52 in 2017, 44 in 2018, 45 in 2019 and 66 in 2020) which highlights the importance of looking at the five-year trend as opposed to year-on-year numbers."

Generally, this has been falling with figures from August stating that the Fife EASR (European Age-standardised Suicide Rate) for 2016-20 was 13.7 per 100,000 of the population. This is lower than the national average.

She said a report that looked at the figures in more detail had just been published.

Ms Burinski told councillors: "It's just landed on my desk but the key thing to highlight from the report today is the suicide rate in 2020 was not significantly higher than the average annual rate for the period 2015-19.

"This is welcome news but obviously something we need to remain vigilant about and it doesn't rule out the possibility of delayed impact from the pandemic."

She said that the suicide rate in the "third quarter of 2020" was higher than average but added: "This has been seen in other countries as well, it's not just Scotland that's seen an increase.

"It still needs some further analysis."