5000 des­per­ate & poor Scots com­mit sui­cide

Op­po­si­tion slam lack of pre­ven­tion strat­egy

Daily Record - - NEWS - VIVIENNE AITKEN v.aitken@dai­lyrecord.co.uk

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.

AC­TION CALL Cole-Hamilton

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