Scottish suicide victims reach out to ambulance services

By Amber Kane

Researchers found that one in two Scottish people contacted the ambulance service 12 months before their death. 

Figures released from the Scottish Suicide Information Database ‘https://beta.isdscotland.org/find-publications-and-data/population-health/mortality/scottish-suicide-information-database/’ shows that Scots were considerably more likely to contact unscheduled care services which also included out-of-hours GP appointments and NHS24.  

This trend shows that people in Scotland may not be turning to the right support systems in times of need. 

With ambulance services not specialised in mental health support, the report added that these points of contact could have been ‘opportunities for engagement and intervention’ to possibly prevent the risk in suicide rates for these people in distress. 

More than 5,000 people, aged over 5 years old and residing in Scotland, committed suicide from 2011-2018.

The Scottish government aims to reduce Scotland suicide rate and recent figures could shed a new light on the victim’s difficult time leading up to their suicide.

Commenting on publication today of analysis from the Scottish Suicide Information Database, Mental Health Minister Clare Haughey said: “Every suicide is a tragedy with a far-reaching impact on family, friends and communities. Suicide Prevention is a key priority for the Scottish Government and requires on-going analysis and research.” 

The government has aims to use the recent report findings, along with their own action plan, to provide appropriate support and guidance to those in need. 

Clare continued, “Through our Suicide Prevention Action Plan- supported by £3million funding over the course of the current parliament- we are working to reduce the rate of suicide in Scotland and are ensuring that those affected by suicide have access to the right support.

“This report represents a significant contribution to the growing evidence base around suicide in Scotland which will inform current and future policy and activity.”

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