“Every One Of The 696 People Who Took Their Own Lives In Scotland In 2014 Was A Friend, Partner, Child Or Relative…”

Suicide rates in Scotland have fallen by 12.5 per cent in 2014 compared to 2013, figures released today by National Records of Scotland show.

The fall, for the 4th year running, shows the suicide rate is 13.3 per 100,000, compared with 15.2 per 100,000 in 2013. 696 people took their own lives in Scotland in 2014.

In 2014, 497 men in Scotland took their own lives (a rate of 19.3 per 100,000) as did 199 women (a rate of 7.2 per 100,000). This is a decrease among men since 2013, however it is an increase among women.

 “It is good news to see that the number of suicides in Scotland is at its lowest for almost 40 years. However, there is no room for complacency,” said Samaritans Executive Director for Scotland James Jopling.

“Every one of the 696 people who took their own lives in 2014 was a friend, partner, child or relative of someone.  Although successive Scottish Governments have invested in efforts to reduce suicide, and shown a commitment to working co-operatively, there are still challenges which need to be tackled urgently.

“One of these is socio-economic deprivation, which increases the risk of suicide, especially among men. The suicide rate is three times higher among the most deprived people living in Scotland compared to the least deprived.**  And in 2014, men aged 35-44  took their own lives at almost treble the rate of the general population, at 36.7 per 100,000.

“Choose Life, the national suicide prevention strategy for Scotland, has contributed to our efforts to reduce suicide and introduced effective national and local measures to prevent suicide.

“It is also important to understand that there is great regional variation in Scotland. Suicide rates in Highland and Inverclyde are significantly higher than the overall rate. This highlights the importance of local suicide prevention plans and supporting relevant agencies to work together and share best practice. We need to keep making progress and continue investment to keep these resources in the place right across Scotland,” James said.

“The Scottish Government also needs to continue efforts to reduce inequality right across the country to support the further reduction of the numbers of people taking their own lives.  The gap in suicide rates between the most and least deprived people living in Scotland, although now less marked than it was a decade ago, is a social injustice which demands our attention and further action.

“Samaritans directly supports the current suicide prevention strategy in Scotland. In 2014 we dealt with nearly 240,000 contacts through our branches around the clock every single day of the year, all of which were dealt with by our remarkable 1000 volunteers across the country. They also provide support in schools, prisons, with communities and in workplace,” James added.

Between 2000-2013 there was a 19 per cent fall in suicide rates (21 per cent for men and 14 per cent for women).*

– ENDS –

For more information or an interview request please contact Sue Royal:

0208 394 8348 or email s.royal@samaritans.org

* Additional analysis using three year rolling averages

**24.5 compared to 7.5 per 100,000 for the most and least deprived tenth of the population, respectively.

www.scotpho.org.uk/health-wellbeing-and-disease/suicide/key-points

Notes to editors:

  • Samaritans is available round the clock, every single day of the year. We provide a safe place for anyone struggling to cope, whoever they are, however they feel, whatever life has done to them. Please call 08457 90 90 90 (UK) (calls will cost 2p per minute plus your telephone company’s access charge) 1850 60 90 90 (ROI), email jo@samaritans.org, or visit www.samaritans.org/branches to find details of the nearest branch.