The suicide rate in Scotland increased by 14% in 2018, according to new figures released today
In 2018, 784 people in Scotland took their own life, an increase from 680 the year before. Particularly concerning is the increase in suicide rate among young people age under 25 in Scotland, the highest annual rate since 2007.
James Jopling, Executive Director of Samaritans Scotland, said:
“It is deeply concerning to see the number of people dying by suicide in Scotland increase in 2018. Each one of those 784 deaths represents a devastating loss with far-reaching consequences for families, friends and communities.
"We’re particularly concerned to see the suicide rate for under-25s increase to the highest annual rate since 2007. After years of steady progress, this should serve as a stark reminder that further action is needed to better understand and address all the factors that contribute to suicide - particularly among young people.
"It’s vital that young people don’t come to see suicide as an escape from their struggles and that we seek to address the very real factors which shape their lives. Suicide is preventable. And that means not just looking at access to mental health services, but also at how money worries, job insecurity, experiences of loneliness and disconnectedness can impact young people’s wellbeing.
"Preventing suicide requires an ambitious and coordinated public health approach to address these issues, and Scotland’s new public health body, due to be established in 2020 must make suicide prevention a priority.
"As members of the National Leadership Group for Suicide Prevention, we will urgently work alongside Scotland’s third sector, local and national government and health services to deliver meaningful action to reduce deaths by suicide.”
Over the last 5 years in Scotland, 3,560 people took their own life. The average suicide rate for the last 5 years was 13.4 deaths per 100,000.
People of all ages reach out to the Samaritans for a wide range of reasons - some of the most common include worries about their mental & physical health, family and relationship breakdown and feelings of loneliness & isolation. Just under a third of people who contact Samaritans express suicidal thoughts & feelings.
Keith Walker, a volunteer with Samaritans Inverness branch said: “Every hour of every day, 365 days a year, people turn to Samaritans in times of crisis and distress.
People talk us about all sorts of experiences & worries - they might be going through a bereavement, struggling with the impact of a broken relationship, grappling with the loss of a job or money worries. Many of the people who contact us may feel they have no one else they can reach out to or speak openly with.
Every call is a reminder that we can all struggle at different times in our lives and of how vital it is that people to feel able to ask for and access help and support when they need it most.”
Samaritans provides free anonymous and confidential emotional support for people experiencing crisis and distress, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. You can contact Samaritans by phone on 116 123, by email [email protected] or visit www.samaritans.org/branches to find your nearest branch.
For more information, images or to arrange an interview please contact Mairi Gordon, Communication and Policy Officer on [email protected] or call 07483027847.
James Jopling is avaliable for interview.
Notes to Editors
- Figures from Suicide Deaths Registered in Scotland: Scotland overview Scottish Public Health Observatory
- Information and support for those struggling to cope can be found at Samaritans.org:
- Anyone can contact Samaritans for free in confidence any time from any phone on 116 123, even a mobile without credit, and the number won’t show up on your phone bill. Or email [email protected] or go to www.samaritans.org to find details of your nearest branch where you can talk to one of their trained volunteers face to face.