IN THE next three weeks, the NHS will produce their annual tally of suicides in Scotland.

Last year 672 Scots took their own lives. 

Despite being the fifth year in a row that death by suicide had gone down in Scotland, it was still significantly more than the rest of the UK.

One study a few years back said the national suicide rate here was 79 per cent higher than in England.

“We need to address why this is an issue,” the actor Iain Robertson said to The National, as he sat down with the paper to discuss his new project, The Bridge.

He and writer Donna Franceschild, best known for Takin’ Over the Asylum, are hoping to use the film start a conversation about suicide, about intervening and about being on the edge. 

The story of a chance encounter between man and a suicidal woman hasn’t started filming yet - they need the help of wannabe film producers to pitch into a crowdfunder and raise £21,844.66 to make it happen.

There’s already been considerable interest, with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Trainspotting star Kevin McKidd giving their support to the project on social media.

Robertson will be directing, a career first for him.

“There something very lovely that we’re making a film about the kindness of strangers and we’ve had to do it as crowdfunding relies on the kindness of strangers,” he says.

He adds that some of the most kind, are those who know the impact of suicide first hand.

“There are people who have been so generous because the issue means a lot to them. The subject we’re tackling and some of the messages that come through have been incredibly moving.

“The more we talk about it and normalise the idea of talking about it and intervening then the easier it becomes for people to do their job and tackle it.”

Robertson first saw The Bridge when it was being performed as a short play at Oran Mor back in 2010.

Scots actress Katy Murphy has signed up to take part, which has thrilled the fledgling director.

“I grew up watching Kate Murphy’s work on the telly. I'm over the moon that I’m going to be  a first time director and I’ve managed to land myself one of Scotland’s finest actors.

“If we get the money.”

Robertson himself won’t be taking payment for the project but even so, a shoot like this won't be cheap. Though £20k is still peanuts compared to most other short movie budgets.

“It's very very carefully budgeted. We the production team, myself and the producer, we’re not taking any payment for it.

"We just want to get it made. But of course we have to pay the crew and where we’re costing money is things like filming on a bridge."

If you would like to get involved visit