A NEW strategy will see both local authorities and the Scottish Government aim to tackle factors and inequalities that can lead to suicide. 

Creating Hope Together: Scotland’s Suicide Prevention Strategy is a 10-year plan from Cosla and Holyrood ministers to address underlying social issues which can cause people to feel suicidal while providing support to those affected by suicide, including families, friends and carers. 

It is hoped that the approach will help reduce the number of suicides by offering help as early as possible and ensure measures to address suicide are included when tackling issues like poverty, debt and addiction. 

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The Scottish Recovery Network is also set to receive funding from the Scottish Government as part of an initial three-year action plan in order to boost community peer-support groups. 

Mental wellbeing minister Kevin Stewart said: “Every death by suicide is a tragedy and, while the number of deaths has fallen in recent years, I want to use every lever at our disposal to drive that down further.

“That’s why we are taking a new approach to suicide prevention – considering all the social issues that can lead people to feel suicidal, while supporting those contemplating suicide and their loved ones.

“Peer support is an effective way to support people in their communities, helping them to feel heard and understood. I’m pleased this strategy will provide funding for the Scottish Recovery Network to continue its vital work for people experiencing – and recovering from – mental health issues.”

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Councillor Paul Kelly, Cosla health and social care spokesman, said: “This approach to suicide prevention will build on the work taking place across local areas in Scotland.

“It will see the partnerships across communities strengthened and build on the collaboration between local and national work to ensure we share the knowledge and insights to help drive suicide prevention forward.

“This strategy will see work which reaches into new areas beyond the traditional settings of health and social care such as education, justice and physical activity, so we can truly see suicide prevention as everyone’s business.”