One-quar­ter of Scots dy­ing by sui­cide at­tended A&E three months ear­lier

The Herald - - FRONT PAGE -


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”.

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