Scottish Government: Suicide Prevention Strategy 2013 - 2016

The Scottish Government's suicide prevention strategy to 2016 sets out key areas of work that we believe will continue to reduce the number of suicides in Scotland.

Annex 3

Summary of commitments

Commitment 1: We will take forward further work on self-harm as part of the publication of a document on responding to people in distress. This work will take into account feedback from the public engagement process which helped inform the development of this strategy (see Annex 2), the current work in Tayside in relation to Commitment 19 of the Mental Health Strategy and the Scottish Government's report Responding to Self-Harm in Scotland: Final Report.

Commitment 2: NHS Health Scotland and NHS Education for Scotland will work together to develop and extend the current approach of workforce development activity to address a wider range of experience and in a wider range of contexts. In doing so we will consider how this support can be made available to families and communities. This work will also be linked to the work under Commitment 1 on distress.

Commitment 3: We will map existing arrangements for responding to people in distress in different environments and localities and will use this information to develop guidance which supports safety and person-centredness.

Commitment 4: For those presenting to A&E we will examine how existing local and national data sources, such as the Scottish Patients at Risk of Readmission and Admission (SPARRA), can be used to provide benefit to those at risk of suicide. We will also support improvement programmes that are aimed at linking available data sources to inform service responses for those at risk of suicide or repeat attendance, such as currently exist in NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde and in Tayside.

Commitment 5: We will work closely with NHS Health Scotland, see me and other agencies to develop and implement an engagement strategy to influence public perception about suicide and the stigma surrounding it and will use social media, in addition to other communication channels, to communicate key messages about suicide and its prevention.

Commitment 6: We will work with Healthcare Improvement Scotland to support improvements for NHS Boards that focus on areas of practice which will make mental health services safer for people at risk of suicide, for example, transitions of care, risk management, observation implementation and medicines management. This will be delivered through the SRLS and SPSP-MH.

Commitment 7: We will work with the Royal College of General Practitioners and other relevant stakeholders to develop approaches to ensure more regular review of those on long-term drug treatment for mental illness, to ensure that patients receive the safest and most appropriate treatment.

Commitment 8: We will build on work already done in relation to Commitment 22 of the Mental Health Strategy to test ways of improving the detection and treatment of depression and anxiety in people with other long-term conditions.

Commitment 9: We will continue to fund the work of ScotSID and the Scottish element of the National Confidential Inquiry into Suicide and Homicide and we will also contribute to developing the national and international evidence base. In doing so we will work with statutory, voluntary sector and academic partners.

Commitment 10: NHS Health Scotland will continue to host the Choose Life National Programme for Suicide Prevention. This National Programme, in addition to the functions set out above, will continue to provide leadership and direction for local Choose Life co-ordinators and in respect of other health improvement aspects of suicide prevention.

Commitment 11: We will set up arrangements to monitor progress with implementation of all the commitments in this strategy. This will include an Implementation Board to be chaired by a Senior Manager from the Scottish Government.


Email: Janet Megoran

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