Orkney MSP Liam McArthur has today called for the development of a new national suicide prevention strategy, after the latest figures reveal a rise in the number of suicides across Scotland.
Since 2015, there has been an 8% rise in suicides in Scotland. The current Scottish Government suicide prevention strategy ended in 2016, and a new strategy is due to be published by the end of 2018.
Commenting, Mr McArthur said:
“Any suicide is a profound tragedy and has a devastating impact on those left behind. Confirmation that there has been an 8% increase in the number of suicides over the last year, therefore, is deeply troubling. It also underscores the urgent need for a comprehensive new prevention strategy, providing vulnerable people, their families and friends with the support they need.
“Over recent weeks, sadly this issue has again been prominent in people’s minds in Orkney. All the evidence shows that there are particular challenges in addressing suicide, and supporting those at risk, in rural and more remote communities. It is absolutely vital, therefore, that the government’s prevention strategy takes these fully into account.
“For too long, the treatment of mental ill-health has not received the priority it deserves, while suicide has been even more of a taboo. That can no longer be tolerated as these latest figures highlight the devastating effect of a ‘more of the same’ approach.”