Scotland will aim to reduce its suicide rate by 20 per cent by 2022, as the Scottish Government launches its new prevention plan.
Scotland’s Suicide Prevention Action Plan sets out ten measures to continue the strong decline in the country’s rate of deaths by suicide.
The plan was developed following extensive engagement with mental health and suicide prevention organisations, people affected by suicide and academics.
To implement the plan, the Scottish Government will set up a National Suicide Prevention Leadership Group (NSPLG) by September this year and support it with a new £3 million innovation fund.
Former Deputy Chief Constable Rose Fitzpatrick will chair the group.
Mental Health Minister Clare Haughey said: “Every life matters and no death by suicide should be regarded as either acceptable or inevitable.
“Over the past decade, Scotland has made real progress in reducing deaths by suicide but we have far more to do. We want a Scotland where suicide is preventable, and where anyone contemplating suicide or who has lost a loved one gets the support they need.
“This plan sets out how the Scottish Government and our partners will achieve this and it makes clear that suicide prevention is everyone’s business.
“Our approach recognises the need to work together across sectors and organisations to identify and support people in distress, strengthen communities, and save lives.”
Ms Fitzpatrick said: “It is an honour to be asked to chair the new National Suicide Prevention Leadership Group.
“I am deeply aware of the significance and importance of the group’s work, and confident that by working closely with a range of partners to take on the range of important actions in this national plan, we can all make a real difference. The plan has been developed with partners, stakeholders and people who have been directly affected by suicide.
“Together with all members of the leadership group, I am very grateful to those people who took the time to contribute.
“Your views and experiences have been vitally important, and I look forward to continuing to work with you.”
Billy Watson, Scottish Association for Mental Health chief executive added: “We welcome Scotland’s Suicide Prevention Action, which shows ambition and commitment to making suicide prevention a national priority.
“We look forward to playing a leading role in implementing this new action plan.”