Our response to new Scotland suicide statistics

Responding to the new statistics on suicide in Scotland, ​Toni Giugliano, Policy Manager at the Mental Health Foundation said: 

"Fewer people died by suicide in 2017 than the previous year and that is to be welcomed. However, suicide statistics should be analysed over a longer period of time due to yearly fluctuations. 

"Over the past four years the numbers have not shifted substantially and around 700 people have taken their own lives every year – that's on average two people every day. 

"Over the past year the Mental Health Foundation has engaged closely with the Scottish Government on how Scotland can be at the forefront of suicide prevention work again, and how we can deliver a radical new suicide prevention action plan. These statistics show how important it is that we get it right. 

"We've been clear to Ministers about our red lines in supporting the new plan, due to be published imminently. Existing suicide prevention structures are no longer fit for purpose. We need a new national body with teeth and resource to instil new drive and leadership in national and local suicide prevention work. 
"Secondly, hundreds of people have already signed our snap petition calling for a dedicated support service for families and friends bereaved by suicide. It's an injustice that families are left to cope on their own or wait 12 weeks for help when the evidence shows they become at risk of suicide. 

"Thirdly, we've argued for a roll-out of mental health and suicide prevention training to key staff such as GPs and hospital workers as well as social security staff and other key groups.

"We look forward to working with the new Minister for Mental Health in the days ahead to ensure that Scotland has an ambitious new suicide prevention strategy."

For more information or to request an interview, please contact Toni Giugliano, Policy Manager, on 07756663312.