Creating Hope Together - suicide prevention strategy and action plan: outcomes framework

The new suicide prevention outcomes framework underpins our strategy and offers an ambitious approach to setting out the range of changes needed across society to reduce suicide deaths in Scotland.

Annex A

Potential Indicators, measures and data sources for short term outcomes

The table below sets out our plans on indicators, as well as potential measures and data sources - for each of the short term outcomes. We will explore all opportunities to measure the impact of our work on an ongoing basis, ensuring we capture the difference we are making, and for whom. Changes to indicators and measures will be confirmed in future versions of the Outcomes Framework and annual progress reports.

Long term Outcome Short term outcome Example Indicators Example Measures and Data (Acronyms listed at end)
1. The environment we live in promotes conditions which protect against suicide risk S1. Key priority Scottish Government policies (based on Annex A in the Action Plan 2022-25) increasingly incorporate and deliver actions designed to contribute to both suicide prevention and tackling the inequalities that affect suicidal behaviour. The initial focus will be prioritising implementation of the policies listed in Annex A of Creating Hope Together Action Plan, namely:
  • Mental Wellbeing and Social Care: self harm, trauma and adverse childhood experiences, dementia, mental health law; care quality standards; workforce, digital and primary care; wellbeing and prevention; supporting mental health in the workplace; student mental health; autism and learning disabilities.
  • Wider Government: homelessness; drugs mission; alcohol; child poverty; money and debt advice; social security; social care/national care service; whole family wellbeing support; social isolation and loneliness; The Promise/people with care experience; children and young people; bereavement support for children and young people; family law; criminal justice and prisons; victims and witnesses; violence against women and girls; hate crime; asylum and migration; veterans; physical health and activity; planning and building standards; road safety; menopause; gambling; redundancy; carers and volunteering.
To assess how well these policy commitments are being implemented, we will undertake an annual review; this will consider the content and implementation of policies (plus evidence of impact wherever possible).
S2. There is increased multi-agency and cross-sectoral awareness and action nationally and locally to restrict access to methods of suicide. We will work with national and local stakeholders to develop a baseline and indicators of multi-agency and cross-sectional awareness of reducing access to methods of suicide. We will see more restricted access to methods of suicide – with initial focus on the use of identified locations of concern. We will work to include questions on this as part of an annual survey of local suicide prevention leads, and key national and local stakeholders / partners. This will provide a baseline on: awareness of reducing access; and, the impact of such restrictions on identified methods.
S3.Traditional media (including their online content) increasingly recognise and implement best practice in reporting, discussing and portraying suicide. By traditional media we mean newspapers, radio, television, cinema. Changes will be demonstrated through adherence to best practice guidelines (e.g., Samaritans/World Health Organisation) and legal regulations. We will undertake regular monitoring of a sample of traditional (national and local) media, including their online content.
2. Our communities have a clear understanding of suicide, risk factors and its prevention S4. People are more informed about suicide, and able to respond confidently and appropriately to people who may be suicidal or affected by suicide; particularly focussed on reducing the inequalities that affect suicidal behaviour. We recognise that there are different types of community e.g., geographical and interest based, and we will ensure we consider communities in their broadest terms. To develop baseline information, we will work with communities and stakeholders to identify measures which demonstrate they are better informed, confident and able to provide an appropriate response. We will ensure actions are informed by an understanding of inequalities (protected characteristics, socio-demographic, and other groups differentially affected by suicide). Using existing surveys (e.g., SHeS, SHhS, Scottish Social Attitudes Survey, LFS), and/or commercial survey (e.g., YouGov, IPSOS-MORI) we can undertake sample survey(s) of the general population (individuals, families, communities) and workplaces. We will also work with trusted organisations to measure the impact on groups who face inequalities. As we take implement the Action Plan we will also seek to routinely collate data on how well communities understand the risk and protective factors of suicide. For example: data from campaigns, feedback from outreach and engagement activities, as well as from focused activities e.g. implementation of the Time Space Compassion principles at a community level. Qualitative opportunities will be explored throughout.
S5. People are more confident and able to seek help for themselves or others who may be suicidal/at higher suicidal risk or affected by suicide and are able to do so without experiencing stigma; particularly focussed on reducing the inequalities that affect suicidal behaviour. We will work with relevant stakeholders to identify appropriate measures which demonstrate increased confidence among communities and groups within key settings. This could contribute to providing a baseline picture. We will develop measures to demonstrate improvement in people's ability to seek help. We will work to develop an explicit definition of suicide stigma so we can identify indicator(s) and methods to measure the change in people's experience of stigma. We will work with academic colleagues, people with lived experience, and national and local stakeholders to develop this. We will undertake sample survey(s) of general population using commercial and/or existing surveys as detailed above, as well as incorporating feedback as part of our place and community based work (e.g. the joint Samaritans and Scottish Government project in West Highlands and Skye which seeks to understand (through research) and support lone and isolated workers). We will use evaluation expertise to develop measures which capture change over time.
3. Everyone affected by suicide is able to access high quality, compassionate, appropriate and timely support – which promotes wellbeing and recovery S6. There is increased knowledge about, and equitable implementation of, appropriate, high quality, effective support; particularly focussing on reducing the inequalities that affect suicidal behaviour We will work with stakeholders to build our understanding and develop relevant indicators which demonstrate increased knowledge & effective implementation of support. These will connect to S5 outcome above. This will include key groups and settings in order to tackle inequalities and support those at higher risk of suicide. We will collect this information as part of an annual audit of local suicide prevention (implementation) plans, other health and social care service plans, through a survey of local suicide prevention leads, and feedback via the Delivery Collective (which will include support providers). We will also collect information through regular meetings with health boards, health and social care partnerships, and key focused groups such as suicide prevention leads and mental health leads.
S7. People, who may be suicidal or affected by suicide in any way, have more equitable access to appropriate, high quality, effective support - to prevent suicide and promote wellbeing and recovery; particularly focussed on reducing the inequalities that affect suicidal behaviour. We will develop relevant indicators working with people with lived experience; and will work with relevant national, sectoral and local stakeholders to explore how best to collect. We will develop a more targeted approach to enable a series of qualitative and quantitative engagement processes to seek feedback from groups at greater risk e.g. children and young people, middle-aged men, people in areas of social deprivation, people bereaved by suicide, people with protected characteristics, and people who access key statutory services when suicidal, for example via primary care and unscheduled care.
4. Our approach to suicide prevention is well planned and delivered, through close collaboration between national, local and sectoral partners. Our work is designed with lived experience insight, practice,data, research and intelligence. S8. There is more effective collaboration and joint working between national, local and sectoral partners to support implementation of the strategy and action plan. We will develop relevant indicators which we can then use to measure the effectiveness of collaboration and joint working on the implementation of the strategy and action plan. This will take a broad view of collaboration which involves national, sectoral and local groups/ organisations with a focus on supporting minority / marginalised groups, as well as those working specifically on suicide prevention. We will undertake an annual survey of Delivery Collective members and local suicide prevention leads which will include questions to assess this. We will also undertake a sample survey of key national, sectoral and local stakeholders whose work focusses on tackling the social determinants/inequalities that affect suicidal behaviour, as detailed against long term outcome 1.
S9. Lived experience insight and other sources of data and intelligence are more effectively collected, shared and used in planning, design, implementation and evaluation of suicide prevention interventions. We will work with people with lived experience, Delivery Collective members and national/sectoral/local stakeholders to develop relevant indicators. We will undertake a sample survey of data/ intelligence providers and national/ local service planners and partners working in key settings (to be determined). The annual survey of local suicide prevention leads and Delivery Collective members will also be used to collect information about involvement of people with lived experience. We will also ensure there is an ongoing process of feedback on participation and engagement for the Youth Advisory group (YAG), Lived Experience Panel (LEP), United to Prevent Suicide (UtPS) members, and the Academic Advisory Group (AAG) As part of the review of national policies under outcome 1, we will also collect information about the involvement of lived experience, and about the use of data and intelligence in policy development/implementation.



Back to top