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Poetry bid to reduce suicide rate (BBC News)

A poet is to be appointed in a drive to reduce the number of people taking their own lives in the Highlands.
The poetry will be read at workshops and schools in a bid to encourage young men to talk about their emotions.

The arts organisation for the Highlands and Islands, HI-Arts, which is running the £4,000 project, has been accused of "insensitivity" by one politician.

But suicidal behaviour expert Rory O'Connor said anything that encouraged people to talk should be applauded.

"It's progressive to try to get a poet to engage with young people and their emotional issues, that can only be a positive thing," he said.

In recent years the suicide level in the Highlands and Islands has been above the national average, with 39 people taking their lives in the Highland Council area last year.

'Macho attitude'

HI-Arts co-ordinator Peter Urpeth said suicide rates were among the biggest challenges facing the area's communities.

"I think writing and arts should be close to the heart of our understanding of these issues," he said.

"The poet who will work with us on this project will be an exceptional writer who can bring insight and, I hope, new understanding to this issue."

Have a nice day,


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