Local people who have lost their lives to suicide will be remembered in poignant ceremonies to be held over the coming fortnight.
The Northwest Bereaved by Suicide Support Group will hold their annual Memory Tree of Lights ceremony this Sunday, December 7th at 5.30pm in the Guildhall.
The Roe Valley group meanwhile will hold their event the following week on Sunday, December 14th at 5.30pm in the Roe Park Resort, Limavady.
The ceremonies are taking place in memory of loved ones, and also to support their families and friends over the Christmas season.
Members of the Support Group are expected to read poetry and recite prayers which have particular significance to them.
Family and friends will also be invited to take part in a candlelight ceremony and to leave a message to their loved one on the Christmas Tree. Music for the Derry ceremony will be provided by the Long Tower Choir, and in Limavady by the Salvation Army choir.
Barry McGale, Suicide Liaison Officer for the Western Trust and facilitator for the groups said: “When someone dies by suicide many people are affected; families, friends and work colleagues, but all too often no-one gets the opportunity to talk about how they feel. Evidence shows support groups are a powerful and constructive way for people to help both themselves and others.”
The Northwest group meets on the the first and third Monday of the month in the Foyle Search and Rescue Headquarters at 7.30pm and the Roe Valley group meets on the second Tuesday of each month in the Arts and Cultural Centre at 7.30pm.