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Every Life Matters

Scotland’s Suicide Prevention Action Plan

We envisage a Scotland where suicide is preventable; where help and support is available to anyone contemplating suicide and to those who have lost a loved one to suicide. Suicide prevention is everyone’s business.

Our vision is supported by our key strategic aims of a Scotland where:

  • people at risk of suicide feel able to ask for help, and have access to skilled staff and well-coordinated support;
  • people affected by suicide are not alone;
  • suicide is no longer stigmatised;
  • we provide better support to those bereaved by suicide; and
  • through learning and improvement, we minimise the risk of suicide by delivering better services and building stronger, more connected communities.

This will be evidenced by a target to further reduce the rate of suicide by 20% by 2022 (from a 2017 baseline). In 2013, the World Health Organization adopted a global target for a 10% reduction by 2020. If the Scottish suicide rate decreased by the same amount in the next 5 years as it has over the last decade, then a 14% reduction would be anticipated. To achieve this, the active momentum of suicide prevention work has to continue. By setting a 20% target we commit to even greater additional ambition and at faster pace.

Leaders at a national, regional and local level have a key role to play in creating a culture that ensures that learning is taken from every death by suicide, in order to help prevent future suicides. Stakeholder collaboration will be at the heart of our approach.