Suicide in Scotland: It's time to talk about it

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For the first time in six years, the number of suicides in Scotland has risen. Data from the National Records of Scotland show that 728 people died by suicide in 2016 – that’s 56 more deaths compared to 2015.

The Mental Health Foundation believes that two people dying by suicide in Scotland every day is two too many. The vast majority of suicides are preventable – but we need to create the right environment for people to thrive and to receive help when they need it.

Our recommendations

  1. Giving teachers the training and support they need to talk about mental health in our classrooms and foster a 'whole-school approach' to mental health.
  2. Embedding compulsory suicide prevention training for all clinical health workers, allied health professionals and pharmacists.
  3. Nurturing fair and compassionate workplaces that promote good mental health.
  4. Creating LGBTI safe spaces so that people can truly be themselves.
  5. Fighting stigma and discrimination from classrooms to boardrooms.
  6. Implementing a national roll-out of Community Triage.
  7. Introducing a '100% health' screen for all discharged hospital patients.
  8. Support for individuals directly impacted by suicide, particularly family and first responders.
  9. Greater mental health support for victims of crime and people in the justice system.
  10. Local authorities must ring-fence and protect funding for suicide prevention.
  11. Tackling poverty and inequality and fully implementing the Christie recommendations.
  12. Better implementation of media guidelines for the reporting of suicide.

Do you need help? If your mental or emotional state quickly gets worse, or you're worried about someone you know, help is available. You're not alone - talk to someone you trust. Sharing a problem is often the first step to recovery. If you need to talk to someone about your mental health you can call Samaritans for free, 24 hours a day, on 116 123.