One-quarter of Scots dying by suicide attended A&E three months earlier
attended accident and emergency departments within just three months of their death.
About 60 per cent had at least one mental health drug prescription dispensed within 12 months of death.
The Samaritans charity called for better care for people in crisis and those at risk of suicide after the NHS Health Scotland report was published. James Jopling, executive director for Scotland at Samaritans, said: “Whilst a sizeable minority of those who take their own lives in Scotland are not in contact with healthcare services prior to death, this important report highlights that a large proportion have been.
“We fully support all efforts to make us all more aware of suicide risks among friends and family, but we must also ensure those professionals who come into contact with people at risk of suicide have the right training and resources to identify, engage and effectively support them.
“We don’t want to miss any chance to change someone’s life.”
He added: ‘The report also tells us that, of those who do attend A&E in the three months before they take their own life, nearly 40 per cent die within just a week of their last visit.
“We welcome recent Scottish Government initiatives designed to better meet the needs of people who are struggling, but this report suggests there is clearly much more we can do.”
The Scottish Government said it was “engaging families, individuals and communities directly affected by suicide to develop a new suicide prevention action plan for publication next year”.