5000 desperate & poor Scots commit suicide
Opposition slam lack of prevention strategy
MORE than 5000 Scots committed suicide in six years, shocking figures have revealed.
Poorer people were at least three times more likely to take their own lives than the well-off.
The vast majority of people killing themselves were men aged 35 to 54, while 71 per cent were single, widowed or divorced.
Opposition politicians hit out after the latest figures, released by the Scottish Government’s Information Services yesterday, showed 5119 people committed suicide between 2009 and 2015.
Lib Dem health spokesman Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP said: “Figures show that across the country suicide is on the rise, yet almost a year after the previous suicide prevention strategy expired, the SNP have still not replaced it. This is a devastating dereliction of duty.
“Under the first national suicide prevention strategy created in 2002, we saw an 18 per cent fall in suicide rates. It shows what can be achieved – but there is no chance of this while ministers drag their feet.”
The statistics showed 70 per cent of those who committed suicide had contact with a healthcare service in the 12 months before their death.
Scottish Labour’s inequalities spokeswoman Monica Lennon said: “It would be doubly tragic if the trends behind these tragedies didn’t serve as a wake-up call.
“The link between suicide and deprivation is undeniable and underlines the human cost of austerity. The SNP must also provide adequate resources to roll out suicide awareness and prevention training for frontline professionals.”
Mental health minister Maureen Watt said the suicide rate fell by 17 per cent between 2002-2006 and 2012-2016 and added a draft suicide prevention action plan would be published next year. ● If you need to speak to someone, call Breathing Space on 0800 83 85 87 or Samaritans on 116 123 or 08457 90 91 92 if you’re hard of hearing.
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