National Suicide Prevention Leadership Group minutes: May 2022

Minutes from the meeting of the group on 25 May 2022.

Attendees and apologies


  • Ms Rose Fitzpatrick (Chair) 
  • Dr Carol Buchanan
  • Mr Mike Burns
  • Ms Rachel Cackett
  • Ms Nicola Dickie
  • Dr Amy Knighton
  • Ms Nicky Reid
  • Ms Angela Scott
  • Ms Claire Sweeney
  • Mr Billy Watson

In attendance

  • Professor Rory O’Connor, Academic Advisory Group
  • Ms Claire MacBride-Stewart, Programme Manager

Scottish Government

  • Mr Dominic Burns
  • Ms Morag Williamson 
  • Mr Craig Wilson
  • Ms Fiona Wilson


  • Ms Julie Cameron
  • Dr Alastair Cook
  • Ms Fiona Drouet
  • Dr David Hall 
  • Chief Superintendent Linda Jones
  • Professor Steve Platt

Guest speakers

Agenda item 3

  • Ms Kate Bell, Scottish Government
  • Ms Lesley McDowall, Scottish Government

Agenda item 4

  • Mr Nigel Henderson, National Lead, Crisis Support
  • Ms Linda Hunter, Scottish Government

Agenda item 5

  • Mr Ruairi O’Brien, Public Health Scotland

Items and actions

Welcome and introductions

The Chair welcomed members to the twenty eighth meeting of the National Suicide Prevention Leadership Group (NSPLG) (“the group”).

It was highlighted that Ms Cackett had recently been appointed as CEO of Coalition of Care and Support Providers in Scotland (CCPS), and that this would be her final meeting as a member of the group. The Chair thanked Ms Cackett for all her considerable contribution to the Group’s work over the past two and a half years.


Apologies were noted.

March 2022 minutes

The Chair noted that the minutes from the group’s meeting in March had been circulated for comment and requested that any further comments be collated by the Secretariat and sent to her to sign off. Action 28.1

Suicide Prevention Action Plan (SPAP) – programme management update

A programme update and milestone map was shared with the group prior to the meeting. The following key updates were noted. 

Members of the Youth Advisory Group (YAG) had been recruited, and the first meeting of the group was planned for summer 2022. NSPLG members were invited to contact the YAG coordinator, Jenny Ferguson, if they wished the group to be engaged in any specific work. The action 6 project in collaboration with NHS24, Surviving Suicidal Thoughts (previously known as Safer Online Suicidal Journeys), was intended to be launched on 9 June 2022 and information would be sent to the group. The United to Prevent Suicide movement was also working on a campaign aimed at young people for summer 2022.

Ms Williamson gave an update on the development of the new suicide prevention strategy and action plan. She reported that extensive engagement with key partners and collaborators was ongoing, and work was also underway with academics to shape the outcomes framework. It was noted that the group would have an opportunity to review and discuss the draft strategy and action plan at a session on 22 June 2022 before it went to public consultation in July.

Scottish Government’s Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy – update

Ms Bell and Ms McDowall gave a presentation on the refresh of the Scottish Government’s 2017-2027 Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy which would set out the Scottish Government’s plans to support people’s mental health and wellbeing. It was highlighted that the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic would be a key focus in the refresh.  Members identified the need for this and the new suicide prevention strategy to connect and inform each other dynamically, the importance of this strategy crossing policy areas and models for scrutinizing progress towards outcomes.

It was reported that broad discussions had taken place with stakeholders through various engagement events, and a co-ordinated approach was being taken across Government to ensure that the strategy addresseed the social detriments of mental health such as housing, education and employment. It was noted that a consultation period for the new refreshed strategy would be open from June to September 2022.

Time, Space, Compassion – implementation update

Mr Henderson gave an update on the work around Time, Space, Compassion (TSC), which implemented “action 5 - Crisis Support” of the Suicide Prevention Action Plan. It was reported that work was underway to generate and share stories that demonstrate TSC in practice from multiple perspectives, with a view to understanding what people do, feel and see when TSC is in place. Mr Henderson highlighted feedback and key themes from conversations with organisations and stakeholders, including the NSPLG’s Lived Experience Panel. A breakout session took place where the group considered and shared their own experiences of Time, Space, Compassion and how these could inform the work going forward. 

A group discussion followed. It was highlighted that, when delivering the work, consideration should be given to how to connect with primary care, mental health services and communities, and how TSC could inform existing systems. It was noted that consideration should be given to the TSC needs of the mental health workforce and where the work fitted with existing/wider policies. It was also highlighted that consideration should be given to challenges around data and that linking with the Health and Social Care Data Strategy consultation would be helpful.

Access to means - locations of concern - update

Mr O’Brien gave an update on ongoing work around responding to jumping/falling from height at locations of concern. It was reported that a series of online events had taken place to bring together key partners from a diverse range of national and local public and third sector partners to share knowledge, issues, and current approaches to addressing the issue. These events were organised by Public Health Scotland in partnership with Samaritans, Police Scotland, COSLA and the Scottish Government, and a report of the findings and suggested actions had been shared with the group prior to the meeting. Members were invited to contact Mr O’Brien with feedback on the proposed actions outlined in the report to help inform development of an action plan. Action 28.2

It was noted that further engagement would take place with relevant stakeholders to test the recommendations from the report and that consideration would be given to, and agreement sought from, potential delivery partners. It was highlighted that the term “third sector” was too broad to allocate actions to, and further thought should be given to which third sector partners would be key to supporting action – and for this to then be articulated in the action plan.

A discussion took place around risk of harm at local level, particularly at multi storey car parks, and Ms Scott offered to link Ms Cackett and Ms Dickie with local government chief executives and the civil contingencies network to consider this. It was reported that work needed to be done in other areas such as addressing the impact on witnesses and consideration of related methods of suicide. It was highlighted that media guidelines were critical and still not always followed when reporting suicides in particular locations. 

Ms Cackett and Mr O’Brien undertook to share information with local authority Chief Executives and the civil contingency network speedily, while new councils are prioritising funding. Action 28.3 


Ms Wilson reported that the policy team had received an approach about the possibility of creating a Scottish memorial site – either physical or an online space – for people who had died by suicide. She undertook to email the group so that all members had the opportunity to share their views on this. Action 28.4

It was noted that it was intended to hold a small event in August/September 2022 to mark the conclusion of the current Suicide Prevention Action Plan and the contributions of all those involved.


The Chair closed the meeting and thanked the group for their contributions. The next meeting of the group would take place on 20 July 2022.

Summary of actions from the NSPLG meeting held on 25 May 2022 

  • 28.1 Members to send any amendments to the March minutes to the Secretariat
  • 28.2 Members to contact Mr O’Brien with feedback on the proposed actions outlined in the locations of concern engagement report
  • 28.3 Ms Cackett and Mr O’Brien to share information from the locations of concern report with local authority chief executives and the civil contingency groups
  • 28.4 Ms Wilson to email the Group and seek views on a memorial site
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