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Chamber and committees

Question reference: S6W-00857

  • Asked by: Audrey Nicoll, MSP for Aberdeen South and North Kincardine, Scottish National Party
  • Date lodged: 17 June 2021
  • Current status: Initiated by the Scottish Government. Answered by Kevin Stewart on 18 June 2021


To ask the Scottish Government whether it will provide an update on its current activity on suicide prevention and its plans for a new long-term suicide prevention strategy.


The Scottish Government’s Suicide Prevention Action Plan was published in 2018. Many of the key actions in the Plan have been delivered, including the launch of Scotland’s social movement: ‘United to Prevent Suicide’; production of learning resources to support suicide prevention; and guidance to encourage, inform, and support local suicide prevention approaches. Pilot services to support those bereaved by suicide will go live this summer and work continues to develop processes for reviews of all deaths by suicide.

Our Mental Health Transition and Recovery Plan sets out our commitment to work with COSLA and stakeholders to produce a new long-term suicide prevention strategy for Scotland. The new strategy will be outcomes-focussed, and its development will be directed by the voices of lived experience. It will be informed by data and evidence, and adopt a cross-government approach to ensure the Government continues to take all actions it can to reduce the number of people who die by suicide. The new strategy will be published in September 2022, supported by a full delivery plan.

In the meantime, continued focus, pace and evaluation on suicide prevention will be achieved by extending activities under the current Action Plan for a further year, up to the point the successor strategy is published. This approach has full backing from partners, including COSLA and the National Suicide Prevention Leadership Group. This approach will be backed by additional spending on suicide prevention in 2021-22, through our £120 million Mental Health Recovery and Renewal Fund.