Suicide prevention will be ramped up.
The SNP Government and Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA) have published a 10-year strategy to tackle the factors and inequalities that can lead to suicide.
It will help people at the earliest possible opportunity and aim to reduce the number of suicides – ensuring efforts to tackle issues such as poverty, debt, and addiction include measures to address suicide.
The SNP Government will fund the Scottish Recovery Network as part of the initial three-year action plan. This will boost community peer-support groups to allow people to discuss their feelings and drive down suicide.
The strategy is supported by record funding through the Programme for Government commitment to double the annual budget to £2.8 million by 2025/2026. It will build on the work of the National Suicide Prevention Leadership Group and continue delivering the existing ‘Every Life Matters’ action plan.
Kenneth Gibson MSP said:
“Every suicide is a tragedy and, while the number of deaths have fallen in recent years, the SNP Government is using every lever at its disposal to drive that down further.
“Peer support is an effective way to support people in their communities, helping them to feel heard and understood.
“If you or anyone you know struggles with dark thoughts or suicidal ideation and may be at risk, please don’t hesitate to phone Samaritans at no cost on 116 123, day or night.”
Creating Hope Together: Scotland’s Suicide Prevention Strategy 2022/2032 includes a number of new approaches to prevent suicide, including:
Widening support to anyone affected by suicide – that includes families, friends and carers.
Investing in peer support as a way of giving people the chance to meet with peers to help guide their wellbeing and recovery.
Focussing on safety planning as a way to support people to stay safe if they have suicidal thoughts.
Improving the way services identify, assess, and care for someone who is suicidal. This includes in primary care, mental health and in unscheduled care settings.
Prioritising work on reaching people with heightened risk of suicide – which includes working in key settings and communities, and with key parts of the workforce and trusted partners.
Bringing insights on poverty and marginalised groups into work.
Focussing on the particular needs of children and young people, and working alongside them to meet their needs
Working with the media to support responsible media reporting.