Creating Hope Together: suicide prevention action plan 2022 to 2025

Scotland's Suicide Prevention Action Plan covering the period from 2022 to 2025.

Sources of Support

We know that the content in this strategy may impact emotionally on those reading this document.

Support is always available, and you may find the below useful.

Breathing Space

Breathing Space is Scotland’s mental health helpline for individuals experiencing symptoms of low mood, depression, or anxiety, and offers free and confidential advice for individuals over the age of 16. They can be contacted on 0800 83 85 87, 6pm to 2am Monday to Thursday; and from 6pm Friday throughout the weekend to 6am Monday.


Samaritans provide confidential non-judgemental emotional support 24 hours a day for people who are experiencing feelings of distress or despair. You can contact Samaritans free by phoning 116 123 or via email on

NHS24 Mental Health Hub

Telephone advice and support on healthcare can be obtained from NHS24 by phoning 111; the Mental Health Hub is open 24/7.


Childline is a free service for children and young people, for whenever they need support or advice. It is open 24/7, and there are many ways to get support. You can call 0800 1111. Other ways are set out on their website:


Our vision is to reduce the number of suicide deaths in Scotland, whilst tackling the inequalities which contribute to suicide.

To achieve this, all sectors must come together in partnership, and we must support our communities so they become safe, compassionate, inclusive, and free of stigma.

Our aim is for any child, young person or adult who has thoughts of taking their own life, or are affected by suicide, to get the help they need and feel a sense of hope.

Guiding Principles

1. We will consider inequalities and diversity – to ensure we meet the suicide prevention needs of the whole population whilst taking into account key risk factors, such as poverty, and social isolation. We will ensure our work is relevant for urban, rural, remote and island communities.

2. We will co-develop our work alongside people with lived, and living, experience (ensuring that experience reflects the diversity of our communities and suicidal experiences). We will also ensure safeguarding measures are in place across our work.

3. We will ensure the principles of Time, Space, Compassion are central to our work to support people’s wellbeing and recovery. This includes people at risk of suicide, their families/carers and the wider community, respectful of their human rights.

4. We will ensure the voices of children and young people are central to work to address their needs, and co-develop solutions with them.

5. We will provide opportunities for people across different sectors at local and national levels to come together, learn and connect – inspiring them to play their part in preventing suicide.

6. We will take every opportunity to reduce the stigma of suicide through our work.

7. We will ensure our work is evidence informed, and continue to build the evidence base through evaluation, data and research. We will also use quality improvement approaches, creativity and innovation to drive change – this includes using digital solutions.


Outcome 1:

The environment we live in promotes conditions which protect against suicide risk – this includes our psychological, social, cultural, economic and physical environment.

Outcome 2:

Our communities have a clear understanding of suicide, risk factors and its prevention – so that people and organisations are more able to respond in helpful and informed ways when they, or others, need support.

Outcome 3:

Everyone affected by suicide is able to access high quality, compassionate, appropriate and timely support – which promotes wellbeing and recovery. This applies to all children, young people and adults who experience suicidal thoughts and behaviour, anyone who cares for them, and anyone affected by suicide in other ways.

Outcome 4:

Our approach to suicide prevention is well planned and delivered, through close collaboration between national, local and sectoral partners. Our work is designed with lived experience insight, practice, data, research and intelligence. We improve our approach through regular monitoring, evaluation and review.

Priority Areas

  • Build a whole of Government and whole society approach to address the social determinants which have the greatest link to suicide risk
  • Strengthen Scotland’s awareness and responsiveness to suicide and people who are suicidal
  • Promote & provide effective, timely, compassionate support – that promotes wellbeing and recovery
  • Embed a coordinated, collaborative, and integrated approach



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