'We are left disappointed by the aspiration of the government' 

James Jopling, Executive Director for Samaritans in Scotland, comments on the Scottish Government's proposals for a new suicide prevention action plan. 

More details can be found on the Scottish Government's consultation webpages here.

'Whether the proposed action plan published last week by the Scottish Government contains the right commitments for Scotland or not, what we are so far lacking is a clear ambition and framework to address the impact of suicide in the next ten years in Scotland. 

Scotland still has a higher suicide rate than the UK as a whole.  Last year, the suicide rate in Scotland went up by 8%.* 
We need local leadership and national ownership of the issue of suicide prevention.  Because addressing suicide rests across a multitude of local and national government functions, from education to justice, health and social services.  Without such leadership, direction and focus we risk slipping further behind our UK neighbours, seeing more people losing loved ones and feeling we simply did not do enough to stop that happening.
The four themes and related actions published last week do not encompass all that Samaritans believes should be done to address suicide prevention. Nor do they encompass the passionate views of those we met who have lost people to suicide.  Without any indication of timescales or resources allocated to this work, we are left disappointed by the aspiration of the government, more than two years since there was last a national suicide prevention plan in Scotland.’
Scottish Government's draft proposals can be found here.
*National Records of Scotland (2017) Probable Suicides. https://www.nrscotland.gov.uk/statistics-and-data/statistics/statistics-...