Scottish Government Announces Suicide Prevention Action Plan

Today, the Scottish Government have released their Suicide Prevention Action Plan. 

The strategy overseen by Clare Haughey, Minister for Mental Health, aims to reduce suicide by 20% from 2017 to 2020. Double the World Health Organisation target of 10%.

The action plan also hopes to destigmatise suicide, making sure people who are at risk have access to skilled staff and support.

Chief Executive for Penumbra, Nigel Henderson, welcomes the announcement. 

“We are very pleased to see the launch of Scotland’s Suicide Prevention Strategy. Penumbra already provides a range of services offering direct support to people experiencing a crisis or emotional distress. We look forward to sharing our experience and working with the Leadership Group led by Rose Fitzpatrick to deliver on the actions outlined in the plan.”

The Suicide Prevention Action Plan sets out 10 actions to work towards this goal. 

These actions include:

  • The formation of a national suicide prevention leadership group headed by Rose Fitzpatrick, former Police Scotland deputy chief
  • Increased training across the public and private sector
  • New public awareness campaigns
  • Reviewing all deaths by suicide to ensure lessons are learned

The Scottish Government will be increasing funding across mental health services. 

£35 million by 2022 for 800 additional mental health workers in key areas including; Accident and Emergency departments, GP surgeries, police custody suites and prisons.

An additional £3 million, on top of the £2 million already provided, totaling £5 million to support mental health services across Scotland.

Current funding supports several services including the Samaritans Free Telephone Service, NHS24’s Breathing Space, and the Distress Brief Intervention (piloted in Aberdeen by Penumbra).

Penumbra welcomes the increase in funding that will help support Scotland’s Mental Health services.

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