Suicide: two lives lost in Scotland each day is a tragedy

Two people each day die by suicide in Scotland and their families are left to cope on their own. This is an injustice.

No caring society or government should tolerate the suffering and despair that leads a person to take their own life. Each and every suicide is a tragedy which can be devastating and life-changing for those they leave behind. But suicide is preventable.

Campaign update: success!

Following our campaign for an ambitious suicide prevention strategy, we are delighted that Scotland's new Suicide Prevention Action Plan includes much of what we called for. Thank you for helping us by signing our petition and writing to the Minister for Mental Health. Your contributions have helped secure a huge step forward for suicide prevention in Scotland.

See our full response to the plan

More about our campaign

As the Scottish Government prepared their new suicide action plan, we called for new leadership and impetus to tackle suicide and put suicide prevention back on the political agenda.

The growing concern that Scotland has become complacent on tackling suicide should be followed by swift action.

We need to address the root causes the might lead a person to take their own life – be it societal pressures like work related stressors and unemployment, or mental health problems like depression.  

Our top five asks

  1. The creation of a new national body to drive forward suicide prevention work in Scotland providing new impetus and leadership nationally and locally.
  2. A new dedicated support service for families bereaved by suicide.
  3. Compulsory suicide prevention training should be mandatory for key frontline staff such as health professionals and job centre staff.
  4. Increased early intervention for people experiencing mental distress across Scotland.
  5. A commitment to tackling the social inequalities that often form the root causes of suicide.

Key facts

  • Scotland's suicide rate has decreased over the past decade, but on average, two people will die by suicide every day – that’s still too many.
  • Scotland has the highest suicide rate in the UK after Northern Ireland. 
  • There has been no substantial reduction in the suicide rate over the past four years.
  • Ministers no longer provide guidance to local authorities on spending money on suicide prevention, and several areas have reduced their funding. 
  • Not only is the amount of money spent on suicide prevention across Scotland unclear, work is patchy and inconsistent.  
  • People living in the most deprived areas are two and a half times more likely to die by suicide than people living in the most affluent areas.

Read our response to the Scottish government's new Suicide Prevention Action Plan