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New suicide prevention strategy and approach for Scotland

A new approach to reducing suicide in Scotland has been published by the Scottish Government.

Its 10-year strategy to tackle the factors and inequalities that can lead to suicide, aims to “address the underlying social issues that can cause people to feel suicidal, while making sure the right support is there for people and their families”.

The Scottish Government is to double the budget for support across the country and fund the Scottish Recovery Network as part of the initial three-year action plan for community peer-support groups.

Launching the ‘Creating Hope Together: Scotland’s Suicide Prevention Strategy 2022-2032’, Mental Wellbeing Minister Kevin Stewart said: “Every death by suicide is a tragedy and, while the number of deaths have fallen in recent years, I want to use every lever at our disposal to drive that down further.

“That’s why we are taking a new approach to suicide prevention – considering all the social issues that can lead people to 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 to feel heard and understood.  I’m pleased this strategy will provide funding for the Scottish Recovery Network to continue its vital work for people experiencing – and recovering from – mental health issues.”

Some of the new approaches include:

  • 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

Read the strategy here: Creating Hope Together: Scotland’s Suicide Prevention Strategy 2022-2032.