Samaritans on Scottish suicide figures
Andrew Sim, Executive Director for Samaritans in Scotland, on the 2013 suicide statistics said:
“The downward trend in the rate of suicide in Scotland over the last ten years is welcome news. It is testament to the continued commitment of, and investment in, suicide prevention by successive Governments and results from the effective collaboration of many organisations, locally and nationally. Despite these positive results, we must remember that suicide remains an inequity, with men and deprived groups disproportionately affected. The challenge for the future is to achieve a decrease in inequalities in suicide as well as a further decrease in the overall rate of suicide.
“The figures for 2013 show that men aged 35-44 years (rate of 35.8 per 100,000) and 45-54 years (rate of 35.7 per 100,000) had a significantly higher rate of suicide than the national average (22.1 for all men).
“In addition, the suicide rate was three times higher among the most deprived people living in Scotland compared to the least (25.7 compared to 7.1 per 100,000 for the most and least deprived tenth of the population, respectively).
“These are avoidable and unjust differences which are linked to persisting inequalities in society. As highlighted in our research Men, suicide and society, it’s clear that we must focus our efforts on addressing distress and suicide among these higher risk groups as a matter of urgency.
“Samaritans actively supports the Scottish Government suicide prevention strategy. As well as providing listening service available round the clock, Samaritans volunteers work in schools, prisons, with communities and in industry. We lead the way in encouraging the safe portrayal of suicide in the media with our Media Guidelines for Reporting Suicide.
“There is a strong commitment in Scotland to prevent suicide and no one working in this area underestimates the challenge.”