Suicide Prevention Strategy – “Creating Hope Together”

New approach to reducing suicide in Scotland.

Suicide prevention will be strengthened as the government and COSLA release a 10-year strategy to address the factors and inequalities that can lead to suicide.

The strategy will build on levers across national and local government to address underlying social issues that can make people feel suicidal, while ensuring the right support is there for people and their families. .

This new approach will help people as soon as possible and will aim to reduce the number of suicides – ensuring that efforts to tackle issues such as poverty, debt and addiction include measures to combat the suicide.

The Scottish Government will fund the Scottish Recovery Network as part of the initial three-year action plan. This will stimulate community peer support groups to allow people to discuss their feelings and reduce suicide.

The strategy is backed by record funding through the Programme’s commitment to the government to double the annual budget to £2.8m by 2025-26. It will build on the work of the National Suicide Prevention Leadership Group and continue to implement the existing “Every Life Matters” action plan.

Launching ‘Creating Hope Together: Scotland’s Suicide Prevention Strategy 2022-2032’, Minister for Mental Wellbeing Kevin Stewart said:

“Every death by suicide is a tragedy and as the number of deaths has fallen in recent years, I want to use all the levers at our disposal to bring it down further.

“That’s why we’re taking a new approach to suicide prevention – addressing all the social issues that can make people feel suicidal, while supporting those contemplating suicide and their loved ones.

“Peer support is an effective way to support people in their communities, helping them feel heard and understood. I am pleased that this strategy provides funding to the Scottish Recovery Network to continue its vital work for people with and recovering from mental health issues.

Councilor Kelly, COSLA Health and Human Services Spokesperson, said:

“This approach to suicide prevention will build on work underway in local areas across Scotland. It will see partnerships between communities strengthened and build on collaboration between local and national work to ensure we share knowledge and ideas to help move suicide prevention forward.

“This strategy will see work that expands into new areas beyond traditional health and social service frameworks such as education, justice and physical activity, so that we can truly consider the prevention of suicide as everyone’s business.”

Background

Creating Hope Together: The Scottish Suicide Prevention Strategy 2022-2032 includes a number of new approaches to preventing suicide, including:

  • Extend support to anyone affected by suicide – this includes families, friends and caregivers.
  • Invest in peer support as a way to give people the chance to meet peers to help guide their well-being and recovery.
  • Focus on safety planning as a way to help people stay safe if they are having suicidal thoughts.
  • Improve how services identify, assess and care for a suicidal person. This includes primary care, mental health and informal care settings.
  • Prioritize work to reach those at increased risk of suicide – this includes working in key settings and communities, and with key workforce elements and trusted partners.
  • Bring information about poverty and marginalized groups into the work.
  • Focus on the special needs of children and young people and work with them to meet their needs
  • Work with the media to support responsible media reporting