Creating Hope Together: suicide prevention strategy 2022 to 2032

Scotland's Suicide Prevention Strategy covering the period from 2022 to 2032.

Delivering the strategy

The Scottish Government and COSLA have joint responsibility for ensuring this strategy, and the associated action plans, are delivered.

We recognise the strong delivery and governance foundations created by the NSPLG, through Every Life Matters, and see opportunities to strengthen that model further. Specifically, we will strive to ensure our delivery is more sustainable and integrated at a national and local level, to deepen our approach to tackling inequalities, and to ensure we achieve the most strategic value and expertise from the NSPLG. We consider these adjustments (as illustrated in the diagram below) will help drive forward suicide prevention across Scotland’s communities.

If we are to realise the ambition that suicide prevention is Everyone’s Business, we need to create a dynamic and engaged suicide prevention community in Scotland, with clear roles for individuals and organisations.

The delivery of suicide prevention must go beyond the individuals and organisations with a direct role in delivering the action plan. To truly succeed in our vision, partners – such as those in the NHS, social care, public health, criminal justice and education – will need the awareness, understanding, knowledge and skills required to play their part. To achieve this we must work together, with opportunities to learn, share and plan together.

We need to also create the conditions which allow our communities to feel empowered to take a lead in suicide prevention. They are well placed to provide peer support and timely, compassionate care in spaces people feel comfortable and safe. To facilitate this, we will draw on community development approaches and seek to bring communities and professionals together through networks and gatherings to share knowledge and strengthen understanding of best practice.

We believe that by working in these ways, we will deepen the impact of our suicide prevention work greatly.

Scottish Delivery Collective

To achieve strong suicide prevention delivery right across Scotland, we will create a Delivery Collective which brings together our delivery partners across Scotland to learn, connect and take a joined up strategic approach to delivery. It will bring together National and Local Suicide Prevention leads, National Implementation Leads (who are locally focused), representatives of third sector partners across mental health, poverty & marginalised groups, first / emergency responders such as Police Scotland and the Scottish Ambulance Service, and representatives from the private sector.

The members of the Delivery Collective will plan and deliver national actions, and create the platform to ensure national and local actions are well co-ordinated and mutually supportive.

By bringing together our national and local delivery teams we will be better able to learn from on-the-ground practice and learning, which will be valuable to help shape our national action plan. Further, we can see that the Delivery Collective approach will also allow us to harness the valuable expertise and insight of the Academic Advisory Group, the Lived Experience Panel, and the Youth Advisory Group right across our national and local work.

The Delivery Collective will create an agile planning and learning community, focussed on evidence and practice. It will review data, practice insight, research and lived experience insight to design new approaches to reach and support people who are suicidal, which may well include digital innovations. Public Health Scotland are expected to play a key role in translating knowledge into action through an active learning approach, as well as ensuring evaluation is built into all our action.

National Suicide Prevention Leadership Group (NSPLG)

Some refinements will be made to the NSPLG so that it can better champion and drive suicide prevention; advise Scottish Government and COSLA on progress on the strategy (including any changes needed to direction / priorities); and provide advice to the Delivery Collective on strategic issues affecting delivery.

New members will be invited to join the group to ensure the Leadership Group reflects the experiences of people who are suicidal. This will include representatives from organisations focused on poverty, those representing minority groups, and organisations working in key sectors which we consider vital to support our work – such as criminal justice and education.

Lived experience and academic research will continue to be a cornerstone of the refreshed NSPLG.

Local Leadership

In line with public protection guidance, local leadership and accountability for suicide prevention will sit with Chief Officers, who in turn will connect into the Community Planning Partnerships (CPPs). The relationship between Chief Officers and CPPs will ensure suicide prevention is considered in the wider strategic context – with all partners engaged and supportive of suicide prevention as a shared priority to which they are all working.

Relationship with wider Government

The NSPLG and the Delivery Collective will be connected into wider Scottish Government governance structures to ensure strategic connections are made, including those addressing the wider determinants of mental health – which we know are similar to those impacting on suicide.



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