Suicide prevention strategy and action plan: consultation analysis

Analysis of responses during consultation period of the development of Creating Hope Together: Scotland's suicide prevention strategy and action plan.

National Suicide Prevention Leadership Group

At a national level, we propose adjusting our existing National Suicide Prevention Leadership Group so that it plays an oversight role. This includes: advising Scottish Government and COSLA on progress on the strategy and recommending any changes needed to the overall direction and priorities of the strategy; providing advice to the Delivery Collective on strategic delivery issues; and, in itself, championing suicide prevention.

The Group's membership will be revised to ensure it is best placed to support this new role, through a wider representation of sectors and organisations which have experience of suicide, including its social detriments. This will include organisations focused on poverty, those that work to support minority and marginalised groups, as well as organisations working in key settings, such as justice and education. We will also ensure the membership of the Group continues to reflect people with lived experience of suicide.

We Asked

During the consultation we asked respondents if they agreed with the proposed approach to national oversight by adjusting the role of the National Suicide Prevention Leadership Group.

Again, if the answer given was No, we asked for a further explanation for their answer, and also suggestions for an alternative delivery approach.

You Said

There were 195 answers recorded to this question, with 51 responses as a follow up.

The table below illustrates the breakdown of responses.

Breakdown of responses
Option Percent
Yes 84%
No 11%
Not Answered 5%

More than 4 out of every 5 respondents agreed with the shift of the National Suicide Prevention Leadership Group to an oversight role.

However, 23 of the 195 participants did not approve of the new approach.

The following key themes were identified in the subsequent comments:

  • There needs to be better engagement with statutory bodies.
  • Some local practitioners felt isolated from the work of the NSPLG in the past and requested that communication was open and transparent.
  • Local voices, such as Health and Social Care Partnerships, NHS Boards, and representation from grassroots organisations, should be represented on any revised Group. This quote highlights the point: "The Leadership Group needs to be accessible to those working on the ground with direct lines of communication where possible".

We Did

The feedback confirms the need for Scottish Government and COSLA to continue its work and communications on building these structures (the new Delivery Collective and the revised NSPLG), in a way that gives real clarity on their respective roles, how they will interact, and the opportunities for wider engagement (which is significant).

We are continuing to design these structures in partnership with national, local and sectoral partners who are working on suicide prevention, as well as new partners who have engaged with the strategy's development. In doing so we are being absolutely clear where accountabilities for suicide prevention lie, and signalling when we are creating more enabling/ learning spaces for collaboration and joint planning.

We are also keen to ensure there is openness and transparency in the way NSPLG carries out its oversight role. To assist with this, the NSPLG role and remit (which will be published when finalised) will clearly state its advisory function - both to Scottish Government and COSLA, and to the Delivery Collective.

Finally, we are very clear that the membership of the new Group will be selected to ensure it can effectively and meaningfully deliver its new oversight role, which means it needs the right skills and representation of members. We are already developing options to achieve this which will ensure a strong focus and representation on: inequalities, children and young people, and health and social care experience/ expertise. The Group will also have ready access to the lived experience panels, academic advisory group, and practitioners (including statutory partners) – who will be linked into the Delivery Collective as the delivery environment is where they can add most immediate value. Having this access will allow the Delivery Collective to make robust and rounded assessments of progress in delivering the strategy.



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