One of the initial tasks was defining the scope of the Action 5 work. The following definition was developed by the working group:
'Suicidal crisis is a self-defined episode of high emotional distress, where there is an imminent risk of suicide and where an immediate response is required to keep the person safe'
It was recognised that this was a narrow definition which only considered someone at the acute end of suicidal crisis in imminent danger of taking their own life. The aim in defining suicidal crisis in this way was to highlight interventions which would improve the care and support available to those at the point of life and death decisions. This does not mean that other areas of work are not equally important: these recommendations sit within wider actions being taken forward by the NSPLG. In addition, this report will make reference to opportunities, through any future suicide strategy, for wider improvements around suicide prevention and after-care for people who have attempted suicide.
The recommendations in this report focus on support for people aged 18 and over. There is considerable concern about the number of young people experiencing suicidal crisis in Scotland. Work focused on improving crisis support for 5-24 year olds is being considered through the recently formed Children and Young People's Mental Health & Wellbeing Joint Delivery Board. Learning must be shared between these areas of work.
Finally, in keeping with the wider work of NSPLG, this paper focuses solely on responses to suicidal crisis. Further work would be needed to consider the bespoke crisis needs of those who self-harm and are not at imminent risk of suicide.