Our vision is for a Scotland where fewer people die by suicide and where everyone can get the right help and support when they need it most.
But we know that we can’t realise this ambition alone – it takes all of us.
That’s why we regularly communicates with a range of voices across the Scottish Government and at Holyrood - and across local government and our communities.
We collaborate openly with those whom we share common causes from across Scotland’s public, private and third sectors, in order to shape policy, strengthen preventions and improve service provision.
And as members of Scotland’s National Suicide Prevention Leadership Group, we are working to drive forward suicide prevention at a national level, as well as addressing issues around self-harm
Our policy priorities
Samaritans Scotland works to increase understanding of the factors that drive suicide and recommend policy changes to strengthen prevention, improve support and ultimately save lives.
Scotland’s suicide prevention strategy : The Scottish Government will publish its new suicide prevention strategy later this year. We have set out our ambitious vision for the strategy, ensuring it addresses the barriers and inequalities that contribute to suicide risk, improves support when it matters most and, ultimately, ensures fewer lives are lost to suicide.
Improving understanding and support around self-harm in Scotland Self-harm is a serious public health issue but one that is often hidden and misunderstood. Past experience of self-harm is one of the strongest indicators of suicide risk and there are signs that levels of self-harm in Scotland have increased in recent years, with young people particularly at risk.
Samaritans Scotland has published Hidden Too Long, a report which aims to improve our understanding of self-harm in Scotland. We are now working with Scottish Government to develop Scotland’s Self-Harm Strategy based on the recommendations of our report.
Addressing inequality: Inequality can significantly increase someone’s risk of dying by suicide; people living in the poorest communities in Scotland are three times more likely to take their own life compared to people living in the wealthiest communities. For less well-off middle-aged men, the risk can be up to ten times higher.
As part of our Strategic Delivery Plan for Scotland, we have committed to raising awareness of the link between inequality and suicide and identify how policy and services can reduce this risk.
Understanding the ongoing impact of the pandemic: The impacts of the coronavirus pandemic continue to be seen in many aspects of everyday life. Samaritans Scotland is working with the Scottish Government - and partners across the public, private and third sectors - to understand the ongoing consequences on mental and emotional health and to ensure support is available and accessible for anyone who needs it.
During the pandemic, we worked in partnership with the Scottish Mental Health Association and Glasgow University on a longitudinal study to help us understand the ongoing impact of the coronavirus pandemic on mental health and wellbeing.
To talk to us about our Policy and Influencing work, contact [email protected]