Suicide prevention strategy development: early engagement - summary report

Summary report of views gathered during the early engagement phase to support development of Scotland's new suicide prevention strategy and action plan 2022.

Areas for Further Consideration

In the course of the analysis, points emerged on which there were clear divergences of opinion and it may be useful to consider these in addition to the overarching themes. Whilst it is not suggested that one approach is ‘better’ than the other, it was considered important to emphasise areas in which there was not consensus, and to highlight that a range of solutions which address different needs may be required.

Social v Medical models

There are mixed views on the extent to which suicide prevention should be considered a medical/mental health issue. Some respondents suggested that linking suicide directly to mental health and clinical treatments could create barriers and there should be greater emphasis on wider social causality.

Central v Local

Several organisations sought national frameworks or guidance that could be used to plan and support service delivery at local level. Others, particularly individuals, suggested that resources and decision making should be devolved to communities and that any strategy needs to support communities without being too directive or prescriptive.

Targeted v Universal

Mixed views were expressed as to whether or not a universal approach should be adopted or activities targeted at individuals and groups who were considered to be vulnerable or most at risk of suicide. This cuts across all aspects from awareness raising, prevention, early intervention and crises.

Digital v Face to Face

There were diverse opinions on the way services should be provided. For some respondent’s face-to-face services were of paramount importance whilst others took the opposite view and stressed the need to prioritise web chat (and other digital options).

Expansion v Recruitment

Whilst some organisations have been able to expand services through increased funding it has been challenging to recruit suitable qualified staff.



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