Creating Hope Together: suicide prevention strategy 2022 to 2032

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

What we will focus on – our priorities

Through the extensive public and stakeholder engagement to develop the strategy and action plan, it is clear that a broad range of work is required to achieve the vision and long term outcomes. Furthermore, our work must support people at all life stages; as children, young people, adults and older adults.

The following areas were identified by people with lived experience and stakeholders as key priorities for suicide prevention, and have therefore shaped the focus of the first action plan, alongside evidence and the outcomes approach.

1. Build a whole of Government and society approach to address the social determinants which have the greatest link to suicide risk

  • Focus action on addressing causes of suicide, such as poverty, debt, addictions, homelessness, trauma, and social isolation.
  • Reduce access to means of suicide, using evidence.
  • Undertake work to ensure sensitive media reporting (both traditional and social media).

2. Strengthen Scotland’s awareness and responsiveness to suicide and people who are suicidal

  • Continue campaign work to address stigma and raise awareness.
  • Build skills and knowledge of suicide across the whole population, and target people working in sectors and settings who play a role in preventing suicide.
  • Make resources and information on suicide prevention accessible.

3. Promote and provide effective, timely, compassionate support – that promotes wellbeing and recovery

  • Build understanding of effective support (for different groups and people) and translate into practice.
  • Develop approaches on self-management, psychosocial assessment, safety planning, responding to distress and crisis, enabling recovery, and postvention support (after a suicide attempt or bereavement.
  • Support people to seek help, whilst ensuring compassionate responses are in place (consider use of digital

4. Embed a coordinated, collaborative and integrated approach

  • Support innovation and scaling up through continuous improvement
  • Improve planning and delivery through improved data, evaluation, evidence and learning opportunties – within and across sectors.
  • Ensure the voices of people with lived experience are central to all decisions and developments.

Some of these priorities require preparatory work over the short term, while others will build on existing work taken forward under previous strategies.

Alongside these delivery priorities, this strategy seeks to further embed the partnership approach to suicide prevention that the National Suicide Prevention Leadership Group (NSPLG) has helped create. We have already seen great value in bringing key sectors and people together and want to build on this through gatherings and information sharing. By joining together, and learning together, we can fulfil the ‘Everyone’s Business’ philosophy of preventing suicide.

Links to related strategies

Within this strategy and action plan we have focussed on the areas specific to suicide prevention. We know however, that to prevent suicide there needs to be strong crossover with other strategies and programmes of work to identify action which will prevent suicide. For example, the Mental Health & Wellbeing Strategy, Self-Harm Strategy, Trauma Informed Practice, and strategies and plans developed by key sectors and organisations, such as Police Scotland and the Scottish Ambulance Service. The diagram below illustrates some of the key Governmment strategies and programmes which underpin and support suicide prevention

We will also ensure there is coherence across national and local suicide prevention plans, ensuring the suicide prevention needs of local areas are met – and help inform our national approach.

  • Suicide Prevention Strategy
  • Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy
  • Student Mental Health Action Plan
  • Curriculum for Excellence
  • Homelessness Strategy
  • Mental Health Workforce Plan
  • Self-harm Strategy
  • Trauma Informed
  • Child Poverty
  • A More Active Scotland
  • Children & Young People’s Mental Health
  • Joint Delivery Board
  • Fair Work
  • Drugs Mission
  • Justice Strategy
  • Whole Family Wellbeing



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