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Improving health
Previously NHS Health Scotland

Data published today shows an increase in the number of people who took their own life in 2018.


Suicide remains a leading cause of early death, and whilst the figures show that the gap between the number of people who die by suicide in rich and poor areas is closing, men continue to be three times as likely as women to take their own lives.


Shirley Windsor, Organisational Lead for Public Mental Health at NHS Health Scotland said:


“Every death by suicide is a tragedy and is preventable. Whilst the inequalities gap continues to decrease, it is extremely disappointing that the number of people dying by suicide increased in 2018.


“These are not just statistics, but the lives lost of loved ones, people in our workplaces, or our communities. Suicide is everyone’s business and we must continue our efforts – whether within the home, the workplace or wider community – to support people to seek help when they are in distress.


“It is crucial to raise awareness of the issues that can lead those in distress to think about taking their own life. That’s why NHS Health Scotland and NHS Education for Scotland worked together to develop a series of online resources to support suicide prevention. In addition to raising awareness, these resources are designed to help increase confidence to respond compassionately and effectively to anyone in that situation.”


There are 3 resources available:


Ask, tell, save a life: every life matters animation.

Ask, tell, have a healthy conversation animation.

Ask, tell, look after your mental health.


For more information, visit the suicide prevention section of our website.