Groundbreaking new resource launched
Every Scottish local authority can now access a resource to help them develop a tailored action plan to prevent suicide.
Launched by the National Suicide Prevention Leadership Group (NSPLG), this is the first time that universal information and guidance, including examples of ‘best practice’ and links to online resources, has been provided to all 32 local authorities to support them to develop effective Local Action Plans for suicide prevention in their area.
The guide will ensure that Local Action Plans align with the national strategy, make use of experiential and research evidence, meet local needs informed by what works, for whom, in what circumstances, and can be evaluated – to enable the NSPLG to build the evidence for what works.
In 2019, 833 people died by suicide in Scotland, more than two people every day. Each suicide is believed to affect at least 135 people and the economic cost for each suicide is around £1.67 million.
The guidance contains a range of resources which will support local areas to identify the needs of their community and ensure there is effective oversight of the work at senior levels. It also provides resources which will help to tackle suicide in groups of high risk such as men who are three times more likely to die by suicide than women, those living in deprived communities, those who have self-harmed or attempted suicide and those who have mental illness.
Jane O’Donnell of Cosla, said: “We are delighted to endorse this local suicide prevention action planning guidance. ‘Every Life Matters’ sets out a step change in suicide prevention across Scotland, supported by national and local action.
“The NSPLG’s approach confirms that local support is crucial to preventing suicide and local authority suicide prevention leads - and their partners - have a critical role to play in supporting this ambition. “This excellent new guidance provides a very useful framework and resources to support local authorities.
“By implementing this guidance in our communities - and sharing our experiences across areas - we will continue to learn what actions help reduce the likelihood of someone dying by suicide in Scotland.”
Rose Fitzpatrick, chair of NSPLG, added: “Our vision is of a Scotland where suicide is preventable, where help and support is available to anyone who is contemplating suicide and to those who have lost a loved one to suicide.
“No death by suicide should ever be considered inevitable, and this means we all have a part to play. We believe suicide prevention is everyone’s business and the launch of this guidance will help to support local communities who have such an important role in keeping people safe from suicide.”
Liam Hayman from Glasgow, (28), a member of the NSPLG Lived Experience Panel, who has made suicide attempts in the past, said: “This toolkit will help to create a consistency in the way we help people with experience of suicide. Many things, such as the restriction of prescription drugs, could be implemented across the country and have a massive positive impact.
“Signposting has not always been good in the past so having a toolkit like this means that local authorities can direct people to the right place at the right time, and that’s so crucial.”