Together, let’s create hope: suicide prevention action plan 2022 to 2025

Sources of support

We know that the contents of this strategy can have an emotional impact on those who read this document.

Support is always available and you may find the following useful.

breathing space

Breathing Space is Scotland’s mental health helpline for people with symptoms of low mood, depression or anxiety, and offers free, confidential advice to people over 16. They can be contacted on 0800 83 85 87, from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. Monday to Thursday. ; and from Friday 6 p.m. all weekend to Monday 6 a.m.


The Samaritans provide confidential, non-judgmental emotional support around the clock to people experiencing feelings of distress or hopelessness. You can contact the Samaritans free of charge by calling 116 123 or emailing

NHS24 Mental Health Center

Telephone health care advice and assistance can be obtained from NHS24 by calling 111; the Mental Health Center is open 24/7.

child line

Childline is a free service for children and young people whenever they need help or advice. It’s open 24/7 and there are plenty of ways to get help. You can call 0800 1111. Other ways are listed on their website:


Our vision is to reduce the number of deaths by suicide in Scotland, while tackling the inequalities that contribute to suicide.

To achieve this, all sectors must come together in partnership and we must support our communities to become safe, compassionate, inclusive and stigma-free.

Our goal is that any child, teen or adult who is thinking of committing suicide or is affected by suicide gets the help they need and feels a sense of hope.

Guiding principles

1. We will consider inequalities and diversity – to ensure that we meet the suicide prevention needs of the entire population while addressing key risk factors, such as poverty and social isolation . We will ensure that our work is relevant to urban, rural, remote and island communities.

2. We will co-develop our work alongside people with lived and living experience (ensuring that this experience reflects the diversity of our communities and our suicidal experiences). We will also ensure that safeguards are in place across all of our work.

3. We will ensure that the principles of time, space and compassion are central to our work to support people’s well-being and recovery. This includes people at risk of suicide, their families/caregivers and the wider community, respectful of their human rights.

4. We will ensure that the voices of children and young people are at the heart of working to meet their needs and co-develop solutions with them.

5. We will provide opportunities for people from different sectors locally and nationally to come together, learn and connect – inspiring them to play their part in suicide prevention.

6. We will take every opportunity to reduce the stigma of suicide through our work.

7. We will ensure that our work is evidence-based and will continue to build the evidence base through evaluations, data and research. We will also use quality improvement approaches, creativity and innovation to drive change – this includes the use of digital solutions.


Result 1:

The environment we live in fosters conditions that protect against suicide risk – this includes our psychological, social, cultural, economic and physical environment.

Result 2:

Our communities have a clear understanding of suicide, risk factors and its prevention – so that people and organizations are better able to respond in helpful and informed ways when they or others need support.

Result 3:

Anyone affected by suicide can access high-quality, compassionate, appropriate and timely support, which promotes well-being and recovery. This applies to all children, young people and adults who have suicidal thoughts and behaviors, anyone who cares for them and anyone affected by suicide in any other way.

Result 4:

Our approach to suicide prevention is well planned and implemented, thanks to close collaboration between national, local and sectoral partners. Our work is designed with insight from lived experience, practice, data, research and intelligence. We improve our approach through regular monitoring, evaluation and review.

Priority areas

  • Develop a whole-of-government, whole-of-society approach to addressing the social determinants that have the strongest link to suicide risk
  • Strengthening Scotland’s awareness and responsiveness to suicide and suicidal people
  • Promote and provide effective, timely and compassionate support – which promotes wellness and recovery
  • Integrate a coordinated, collaborative and integrated approach