NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Mother hopes pop-up ads mean suicide-support a click away

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Media captionDeanna Cruickshank hopes to prevent other families going through the heartbreak of suicide

A grieving mother whose daughter took her own life is behind a new campaign to ensure support for people at risk of suicide is just one click away.

Jo Cruickshank was 36 when she took her own life in August 2015.

Her mother Deanna, from Buckie, Moray, believes there is a chance Jo could be alive today if she had discovered help online at her most vulnerable moment.

She is now helping to fund online pop-up ads that appear when a person uses the term suicide in a search engine.

Suicide prevention body Choose Life says there has been a rise in women killing themselves in Grampian recently, and many had done online searches before they died.

Mrs Cruickshank and Jo's teenage son had begun to get worried about her when they could not get hold of her.

'We broke in'

They found her door was locked from the inside.

Mrs Cruickshank told BBC Scotland: "The first anniversary is past, I relived that day almost minute-by-minute, from the time I got up in the morning.

"It was just an ordinary Saturday like any other day.

"We broke in, and I just shot up the stairs and opened her bedroom door. Nothing prepares you for that. It's just something you can't describe.

"It's awful when a daughter or a son dies, but to me there just seemed an extra dimension when they've taken their own life."

Image copyright Cruickshank family
Image caption Jo Cruickshank took her own life in 2015

She added: "Jo Googled everything.

"If something had popped up then for her, would she still be here?

"If a phone number popped up, or just a message that said 'please think about this', maybe she'd still be here. Maybe not, I don't know and we'll never know. I think if I can do something and even if it just helped one person, saved one person, it would be worth it.

"I thought that was something she would have approved of. She was a very caring person, she was always doing things for everybody else.

"The money that was raised at her funeral, if that can go towards something, that would be really good."

'Incredible courage'

Choose Life Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire co-ordinator Iain Murray said: "It is the case, sadly, that generally males aged in their mid 20s to late 50s account for most suicides in Scotland.

"But, in the north east of Scotland over the last 18 months, I have seen periods where the number of female suicides has been significantly higher than across Scotland.

"What we have noticed is the use of the internet has featured.

"Deanna has shown incredible courage sharing her personal experience, which will make a difference and an impact.

"She has also kindly supported us.

"We have a campaign in place where if you search on a certain term, the first option you should reach is our website, and therefore you're reaching the important information that will help."

Mrs Cruickshank walks Jo's spaniel Mac along the beach at Buckie every day. It is where she thinks of the happy times with her daughter.

The thought of preventing another family going through the heartbreak of suicide is now what gets her through the bleakest of days.

If you are feeling emotionally distressed and would like details of organisations which offer advice and support, go online to bbc.co.uk/actionline or you can call for free, at any time to hear recorded information 0800 066 066.

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