A POIGNANT service was held over the weekend to remember those who have tragically died from suicide.

Flower petals and roses were released onto the River Clyde at the remembrance service organised by Clydebank Churches Together (CTC), a local Christian organisation.

Clydebank Post:

Reverend Ishaku Bitrus, convenor of CTC, told the Post that the event, held at the Clydebank/Dumbarton side of the Erskine Bridge, brings those affected by suicide together to reflect and grieve.

It is typically held on the last Sunday of August but this year it was moved to align with the start of World Suicide Prevention Week.

Clydebank Post: [Left to right] Reverend Ishaku Bitrus and Reverend Gerry Simonis [Left to right] Reverend Ishaku Bitrus and Reverend Gerry Simonis (Image: Newsquest Staff)

Reverend Bitrus said: “We feel the service is important and that as a community we can make an impact by offering support to the loved ones of those who have taken their own lives.

“We hope to create publicity about the need for support like this and also we hope to encourage anyone who may be struggling to reach out and ask for help and to know that the support will be there.

“We will continue to hold the service each year, not because we want to but because we need to. We are concerned and we care about those who are suffering and those who are affected by suicide.”

The hour-long service was led by Reverend Bitrus and Reverend Gerry Simonis, who is the secretary of CTC.

It included poems, Bible readings, and moments for reflection.

Clydebank Post:

During the service attendees are invited to walk to the middle of the left-hand side of the bridge to lay a wreath and release flower petals onto the water.

Among those in attendance was Elizabeth Daly who explained she feels services like these are important as they “challenge the stigma surrounding suicide”.

Clydebank Post:

Ms Daly said: “It’s important that these remembrance services continue and that more people get involved because even if you’re not a religious person services like these bring you comfort when you’ve lost someone to suicide, I know that myself and I really believe it.

“No one is alone here and there will be someone there to hold your hand if you need it or you can watch from afar.

“Within the service, it mentioned the emotions that the families feel and it helps to process and sometimes remove them and to see the death as what it is, a terrible tragedy.”

If you are struggling, please contact Samaritans on 116 123.