Suicide prevention plan introduced to maintian progress

A new strategy to help cut the number of people committing suicide has been unveiled.

The accompanying document outlines how the Scottish Government aims to continue a downward trend in suicide numbers over the last 10 years.

Scotland has recorded an 18% fall since 2002, bucking the trend in many other countries.

The strategy pledges to improve the diagnosis and treatment of depression and anxiety in people with long-term or chronic health conditions and ensure a more regular review of those on long-term drug treatment for mental illness.

It also focuses on changing the way suicide is talked about in Scotland and supporting improvements in how the NHS responds to suicidal people.

Public Health Minister Michael Matheson said: “Scotland has made real progress in suicide prevention. But we must build on that and keep reaching out to those who are at risk of suicide.

“We want this strategy to deliver better outcomes to people who are suicidal and who come to services, to their families and carers, to those not in contact with services, and we want to continue to improve our knowledge of what works in this complex field.

“In addition to the specific commitments which we have set out in the strategy, there is a broader focus of activities not directly related to suicide prevention but which, if taken forward effectively, contributes to reducing the overall rate of suicide.”

These include measures to improve mental and emotional well-being and reduce inequality, discrimination and stigma, he said.