‘The fact that 425 fam­i­lies lost some­one to sui­cide in La­nark­shire in the last five years is truly a tragedy’

Sa­mar­i­tans re­act to lat­est fig­ures

Wishaw Press - - FRONT PAGE - An­drea O’Neill

More than 400 peo­ple have taken their own lives in La­nark­shire in the last five years.

The shock­ing sta­tis­tics show that there were 425 sui­cides through­out the county from 2012 to 2016.

And fig­ures re­leased by Na­tional Records of Scot­land show that men are more than two times more likely to take their own lives than women.

Sui­cide re­mains the lead­ing cause of death for men un­der the age of 50 in the UK al­though NHS La­nark­shire’s rate is be­low the na­tional av­er­age.

The pic­ture is bleak across Scot­land – with sui­cide rates ris­ing by eight per cent in 2016.

As the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment sets out its sui­cide pre­ven­tion plan, the first na­tional strat­egy since 2015, emo­tional sup­port char­ity Sa­mar­i­tans in­sist more com­mit­ment is re­quired to ad­dress the needs of high-risk in­di­vid­u­als to en­sure fewer deaths from sui­cide in the com­ing years.

The grim toll shows a to­tal of 318 men (74.8 per cent and a rate of 20.2 per 100,000) and 107 women (25.2 per cent and a rate of 6.3 per 100,000) took their own lives in La­nark­shire be­tween 2012 and 2016.

The data re­veals that 68 men com­mit­ted sui­cide in 2016 – a rise of 28.3 per cent on the pre­vi­ous year.

Eigh­teen women had taken their own lives in the same year – one less than in 2015 and drop­ping by one third over the four-year pe­riod.

The La­nark­shire fig­ures ac­count for 11.4 per cent of the to­tal num­ber of sui­cides in Scot­land – 9.4 per cent less than Greater Glas­gow and Clyde where there were 773 sui­cides.

A to­tal of 782 peo­ple took their own lives in Scot­land in 2016 and there were 3271 sui­cides from 2012 to 2016.

In 2016, 517 men in Scot­land took their own lives – an in­crease of 8.6 per cent on the pre­vi­ous year.

The fig­ure for women that year was 211 – a rise of 7.6 per c en t from 2015.

Sui­cide rates for 2017 have not yet been pub­lished by the Na­tional Records of Scot­land.

MP Dr Lisa Cameron said: “I note that South La­nark­shire Coun­cil is be­low both the na­tional and Euro­pean fig­ures in re­la­tion to num­ber of sui­cides 2012

16. en­able males more read­ily to seek help.

“I am aware that NHS Scot­land have pro­vided sui­cide aware­ness staff train­ing which is likely to have im­proved pre­ven­tion.

“I must also com­mend the work of the Sa­mar­i­tans, Breath­ing Space and other or­gan­i­sa­tions lo­cally in sup­port­ing in­di­vid­u­als when at their most vul­ner­a­ble and sav­ing lives.” has a lower rate of sui­cides than the na­tional av­er­age, we need to see real lo­cal lead­er­ship and na­tional own­er­ship of the is­sue of sui­cide pre­ven­tion be­cause ad­dress­ing sui­cide rests across a mul­ti­tude of lo­cal and na­tional gov­ern­ment func­tions, from ed­u­ca­tion to jus­tice, health and so­cial ser­vices.

“With­out such lead­er­ship, di­rec­tion and fo­cus we risk slip­ping fur­ther be­hind our UK neigh­bours, see­ing more peo­ple los­ing loved ones and feel­ing we sim­ply did not do enough to stop that hap­pen­ing.

“The Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment are cur­rently con­sult­ing the pub­lic on the next sui­cide pre­ven­tion ac­tion plan and Sa­mar­i­tans be­lieve there is much more that can be done to en­sure there are fewer deaths from sui­cide in La­nark­shire in the fu­ture.”

The fi­nal plan is to be pub­lished this sum­mer.

There is a range of sui­cide pre­ven­tion train­ing avail­able in La­nark­shire, some of which is avail­able to the pub­lic, such as Ap­plied Sui­cide In­ter­ven­tion Skills Train­ing (ASIST) and safeTALK (sui­cide alert­ness for ev­ery­one).

For help and sup­port for your men­tal health, speak to your GP or, if out of hours, call NHS 24 on 111. There is also

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