Suicide Prevention Strategy – ‘Creating Hope Together’
New approach to reducing suicide in Scotland.
Suicide prevention will be ramped up as the Government and COSLA publish a 10-year strategy to tackle the factors and inequalities that can lead to suicide.
The strategy will draw on levers across national and local government 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.
This fresh approach 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 Scottish 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.
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.”
Councillor Kelly, the COSLA Health and Social Care spokesperson said:
“This approach to suicide prevention will build on the work taking place across local areas in Scotland. It will see the partnerships across communities strengthened and build on the collaboration between local and national work to ensure we share the knowledge and insights to help drive suicide prevention forward.
“This strategy will see work which reaches into new areas beyond the traditional settings of health and social care such as education, justice and physical activity, so we can truly see suicide prevention as Everyone’s Business.”
The strategy 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
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