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James's Support Group to spread message of hope at Caley Thistle and Ross County games

By Alasdair Fraser

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Patrick and Wendy Mullery. Their son James died two years ago. Pic: Callum Mackay
Patrick and Wendy Mullery. Their son James died two years ago. Pic: Callum Mackay

A SUICIDE awareness group is taking its message of help, hope and support to football fans.

James's Support Group will be setting up a stall from 1pm on Saturday, outside Ross County's home game with St Johnstone, followed by another at Inverness Caledonian Thistle's match against Alloa on October 19.

Patrick Mullery, who runs the group, lost his son James to suicide at the age of 28.

The month is especially poignant for Mr Mullery and his family as October 8 marks the second anniversary of James' death.

He said the charity aims to support the demographic that "is most afflicted by suicide and mental health issues – which is men under the age of 40".

He added: "A football match is a really good place to start. We did the shinty cup final in Fort William a couple of weeks ago for the same reason.

"It is just about trying to get the message out there, the best we can.

"We're not counsellors, we just arrive with good intentions, leaflets and our own experiences.

"If they are struggling, they can get the information they need and get some help."

Since being formed 18 months ago, the self-funded, non-charitable group has helped around 400 people at 18 meetings, which are held on the last Sunday of every month at the Mercure Hotel in Inverness.

With close to 180 members, it helps both bereaved individuals and those suffering mental health issues.

"What we give is a safe environment to speak or just listen," he said.

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