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Suicide Prevention Education and Training Statistics

Suicide Prevention Education and Training Statistics

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Many people who are feeling suicidal give an indication of their intent, whether verbally or through changes in their behaviour. This is where training to increase the knowledge and skills of key frontline staff in the NHS forms a vital role. The more staff that are able to explore possible signs of suicide risk and provide support and help, the higher the potential for saving lives.

The data is monitored for the purpose of the HEAT target on training and educating frontline staff in suicide prevention. The target specifies that 50% of frontline staff must be educated and trained in using suicide assessment tools/suicide prevention training programmes by end 2010.

Main Findings

The main findings are:

  • As at the end of December 2008 in NHSScotland 16% of frontline staff had been trained and educated in suicide prevention
  • As at end of December 2010 this figure had increased to 52%

Table 1 Percentage of frontline staff educated and trained in suicide prevention, as at end December 2008, end June 2009, end December 2009, end June 2010 and end December 2010

NHS BoardDecember 2008June 2009December 2009June 2010December 2010
NHS Ayrshire and Arran1227314255
NHS Borders2529343752
NHS Dumfries and Galloway1214313754
NHS Fife1017214751
NHS Forth Valley2324314151
NHS Grampian1628344450
NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde1023283653
NHS HighlandData not available29314153
NHS Lanarkshire3040455255
NHS LothianData not available1013


NHS Orkney3336435354
NHS Shetland3642445052
NHS Tayside1420364450
NHS Western Isles1021394556


Data on headcount number of staff and total numbers of frontline staff educated and trained in suicide prevention is supplied by NHS Boards. These data are then used to calculate the percentage of all staff trained in suicide prevention.

Scotland percentages have been calculated using information from NHS Boards that have provided information on both headcount numbers of staff and number staff trained. Where Boards have not provided staff trained information, but have provided headcount information, the headcount number has been omitted.

Further Information

This is the first time these data have been published, with the intention being to publish on an annual basis. Although not classified as National Statistics they are regarded as Official Statistics and, as such, are bound by the principles and protocols contained within the Code of Practice for Official Statistics.

The measure above contributes to the Scottish Government's HEAT performance management system which sets out the targets and measures against which NHS Boards are publicly monitored and evaluated.

  • HEAT target H5 - Staff educated and trained in suicide assessment/prevention

Useful Links

UK Statistics Authority, Code of Practice for Official Statistics - http://www.statisticsauthority.gov.uk/assessment/code-of-practice/index.html

Scottish Government NHSScotland Performance Targets (HEAT) - http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Health/NHS-Scotland/17273

Choose Life, The national strategy and action plan to prevent suicide in Scotland -


For further information, please contact:

Christine McGregor

Scottish Government

Health Analytical Services

Email: Christine.McGregor@scotland.gsi.gov.uk

Tel: 0131 244 3394