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Background to the Suicide Prevention Strategy

In late 2012, the Scottish Government set up a working group to consider future strategy and action on the prevention of suicide and self-harm, in the context that the Choose Life strategy and action plan was approaching the end of its 10 year lifetime.  The working group's deliberations were supported by a reference group.

Key questions which the working group addressed include:

  1. What do we want to achieve in the coming years?
  2. Whose needs is the new strategy intended to meet?
  3. What do we take forward from Choose Life?
  4. What do we leave behind from Choose Life?
  5. What new ground do we need to break into?

To help inform the development of a new strategy, the Working Group developed an engagement paper, to prompt discussion on key areas and to gather views for consideration in the development of a new national strategy on preventing suicide and self-harm:

Several engagement events were run in February, March and May 2013 to allow stakeholders the opportunity to discuss the engagement paper and their aspirations for future strategy. Both NHS Health Scotland and Police Scotland were central to organising these sessions, which were attended by around 400 people.

Some 95 written responses to the engagement paper were received. Copies of these are available to view by contacting the Scottish Government Library on 0131 244 4556. Respondents' personal details have been removed from these copies, except where respondents specifically indicated they were content for their details to be published.

A summary note of the written comments, and summaries of themes and issues which emerged at the engagement events, were prepared for consideration by the working group and reference group at meetings over the summer in 2013:

Please note - the summary note of written comments does not name individual respondents but provides a broad description of the respondent's position/background. The summary notes of the engagement events are composite and anonymised summaries.