News UK News

Scotland vow to reduce suicide deaths by 20% by reviewing EVERY case | UK | News

Under the blueprint NHS workers will be receive compulsory training in mental health issues and suicide prevention.

It also includes the formation of a £3 million specialist task force – headed by former Police Scotland deputy chief constable Rose Fitzpatrick – to deliver 10 measures aimed at reducing the suicide rate.

Latest statistics show suicides in Scotland fell to 680 from 728 in 2016 last year.

But the number of men and boys taking their own lives rose from 517 to 522.

And the rate is little changed over the past four years with charity Samaritans previously accusing the Scottish Government of not taking the issue seriously enough.

The previous strategy expired in 2016 and the Government pledged another by the end of June.

Mental health minister Clare Haughey, who is a former mental health nurse, yesteday said no death by suicide should be regarded as “either acceptable or inevitable”.

Unveiling the plan she added: “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.”

“Our approach recognises the need to work together across sectors and organisations to identify and support people in distress, strengthen communities, and save lives.”

All deaths by suicide will be reviewed, with lessons to be “shared with partners and acted on”, and efforts will be made to use technology to combat the problem.

It means that every death caused by suicide will in future be studied by a series of national agencies, potentially sparking countrywide or local action if ongoing risks are uncovered.

The measures include the rollout of new mental health and suicide prevention training by May next year, with NHS staff required to complete courses on the issues as part of their studies.

Public awareness campaigns will also be created to improve people’s knowledge about the issues as well as a renewed emphasis on offering support online.

The plan promises that lessons will be taken from every incident.

The measures were welcomed by mental health charities and professionals.

Dr Donald Macgregor, of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, said: “When it comes to preventing suicide, we know that early identification is key. That’s why we are pleased to see this plan include pledges to establish awareness campaigns and mental health and suicide prevention training for all public and private staff.

“However, just as it will be compulsory for NHS staff to receive this training, we would like all staff, regardless of sector, to share that same obligation.”

But ministers were criticised for taking so long to publish the strategy.

Scottish Conservative mental health spokeswoman Annie Wells described the delay as “unacceptable”

She added: “I very much welcome the emphasis on training, review and the public awareness campaign highlighted within the strategy.

“The SNP must now deliver it quickly and effectively with no further delays.”

Alex Cole-Hamilton, for the Lib Dems, said: “The Scottish Government can’t be forgiven for letting the last strategy expire 586 days ago, holding back the development of critical and much-needed services

“However, I really want this new plan to be a success and save lives.”

*For confidential support call the Samaritans on 116123 or visit

Source : EXPRESS

Related posts

Here’s what critics get wrong about the merit-based immigration plan Trump supports—commentary




Accountancy group EY sees 7% revenue growth despite pre-Brexit slowdown


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.