Minister for Mental Health Kevin Stewart MSP is setting up a new group to make sure that everyone at risk of suicide can access the right support when then need it.
Following recommendations made by the National Suicide Prevention Leadership Group (NSPLG), the Suicidal Crisis Support Action Group will drive implementation of the Time, Space and Compassion approach, a new way to improve help for people who are suicidal.
Nigel Henderson, former Chief Executive of Penumbra, has been appointed as National Lead for Suicidal Crisis Support to lead this work.
Kenneth Gibson MSP said:
“There were 805 probable suicides registered in Scotland in 2020. While this is a decrease from 833 in 2019 during what was an extraordinarily challenging year for many, every person counts and leaves behind loved ones. It is a heartbreaking thought that every one of these people felt like they could not go on and we must as a society help prevent people from getting to this stage.
Every day, people in our communities, and those working in statutory and third sector services, are responding compassionately to people in crisis. However, there is more that can be done. The recommendations give a real opportunity to transform how we engage and support our most vulnerable people at times of suicidal crisis.
“If you are or know someone who finds themselves feeling extremely low, please don’t be afraid or ashamed to reach out to someone you know, or call Breathing Space on 0800 838587, the Samaritans on 116 123 or Childline on 0800 11 11 (all free of charge).
Nigel Henderson said:
“I am very pleased to have been asked to lead on implementing this work. Having been a member of the NSPLG and directly involved in this work, I believe that developing the Time, Space, Compassion approach has the potential to make a positive difference to how we respond to people experiencing suicidal crisis.
“There is much to do, and I look forward to working with people, communities and organisations to take forward the recommendations.”
The Time, Space and Compassion approach is about ensuring those at the point of suicidal crisis are able to access support at a time they need it, in an accessible and available space, and are shown compassion by those providing the support. It can be accessed here.