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  • Writer's pictureKenneth Gibson MSP

Draft Suicide Prevention Plan Published

Workplaces across Scotland will receive a suicide prevention and mental health training programme under proposals announced by the SNP Government. Views are being sought on the creation a nation-wide training programme, aimed at embedding mental health training.

Other proposals in the draft Suicide Prevention Action Plan include:

  • Making more use of social media to provide information and support

  • Building stronger partnerships between public, private and third sector organisations

  • Better use of data and evidence to ensure more effective interventions

Mental Health Minister Maureen Watt MSP launched the draft plan saying:

Every life matters and everyone has a role to play in suicide prevention. While the suicide rate in Scotland has fallen over the last decade, we must prevent further deaths. It is vital we hear the views of people affected and those delivering support as we shape our action plan.

As part of our proposals, we aim to produce a world-leading suicide prevention training programme for employers. We need to create a culture across Scotland where workplaces deliver mental health and suicide prevention training with the same commitment as physical health emergency training such as cardiopulmonary resuscitation and first aid.”

Shirley Windsor, lead for Public Mental Health at NHS Health Scotland, said:

Every death by suicide is a tragedy with life-changing impact on families. We must do everything we can to prevent it, including developing more responsive services and listening to people with lived experience. The draft proposals present an opportunity to do this.

We are particularly pleased to see recognition of the need for a universal response to suicide prevention. The training programme, raising skills and building confidence in everyone, not just professionals, to spot and respond to people in distress, has huge potential to help prevent suicide in Scotland.”

Kenneth Gibson MSP commented:

In Scotland there has been a 17% decrease in the suicide rate in Scotland since 2006. Nevertheless, the impact suicide has on so many families is huge.

I first raised this important issue at Holyrood in 1999 and, while progress has been made, thousands of Scots have taken their own lives in the almost two decades since.

I urge people across Scotland to help shape the SNP Government’s suicide prevention plans. Suicide is preventable and we must be bold to reduce the heartache it causes.

The draft plan is open for public comment online for seven-weeks at:

The final plan will published this summer.

Activity undertaken to inform the draft action plan included meetings and events late 2017 and early 2018 with people affected by suicide and those who provide frontline support and meetings also with third sector and academic stakeholders.



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