Ross’s mum helps those under stress

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The family of an Arbroath man who committed suicide in Glasgow almost exactly a year ago is working hard to keep his memory alive.

Ross Ramsay (30), who grew up in Arbroath, was last seen on CCTV in Newton Street in the Charing Cross area of Glasgow but did not return to his home in Maryhill, to the north of the city centre. He had been due to start a new job at the National Theatre of Scotland in the city the following Monday.

Ross’s body was found in the River Clyde on March 11.

His mum, Sandra Ramsay, explained: “Ross was talented musically and after graduating from Glasgow University as a sound engineer set up his own business called Otago Sounds. He worked for the BBC and many theatre groups here and abroad.

“I sense that he felt the negative impact of the stigma which still surrounds mental health issues. Stigma was a clear barrier for Ross and many other people, particularly men.

“I applaud the Scottish Mental Health Association (SAMH) for setting up the Community Support Network, which supports people and their families who recognise their loved one is at risk of taking their own life.”

Sandra is heavily involved in suicide prevention in the Angus area and is a volunteer with SAMH. One aspect of the charity is Choose Life which ensures action is taken nationally and locally to build skills through training, improve knowledge and awareness of good suicide prevention practice, and to encourage improved co-ordination between services.

One of the major achievements of 2013 for Choose Life across Angus and Dundee was the development and launch of a suicide prevention app called ‘SUICIDE? HELP!’ which can be accessed on any Apple or Android tablet or phone. The app is free to download from the Apple App Store or Google Play.

Charity organiser Liam Yule said: “Sandra Ramsay spoke brilliantly at the launch event about her experiences of supporting and losing her son Ross through suicide and has been a great support of suicide prevention and the Community Support Network since, actively being involved in fund-raising and promotional events.”

This week she travelled to Glasgow for the premier of a film called ‘Pulse’, which has been dedicated to Ross, made by Ruth Paxton who picked up on some of Ross’s story. The premier was in ‘The Arches’ in Glasgow where Ross used to do work as well and one of his friends actually features in the film.

And his younger brother, Ryan, is a member of the band ‘Made as Mannequins’ which has brought out a music CD ‘Chief’ which has been dedicated to Ross.

Sandra said: “My work with SAMH has actually made me stronger. Suicide is seen as a stigma which prevents family members seeking support.

“It is, however, difficult at this time of year, on the anniversary of Ross’s death.”