The report, which was presented to the council’s adult health and social care committee, reveals that in the last three years 145 suicides took place in the local authority area. There has been a growth in deaths by suicide of people aged under 39 and more than two thirds of the deceased were males.
Since 2019 police have been providing other authorities with more details about people who commit suicide, including what is known about their employment and relationships.
The council’s social work staff have been working in various ways to try and reduce suicide rates, starting with young people in schools.
In North Lanarkshire 16 young people under the age of 25 committed suicide in 2020.
Statistics show around that each year around 200 school pupils in the UK are lost to suicide.
Through working in partnership with the NHS, Samaritans and police, social workers have helped develop new suicide prevention guidance for all staff working with children and young people up to the age of 26, ensuring awareness of the prevalence of suicide and ensuring all schools are familiar with the various forms of assistance available to them.
The Suicide Prevention Lanarkshire App has also been developed and is currently available for download.
This gives practical advice on how to start difficult conversations around suicide with a view to starting the process of providing support.
Suicide Prevention North Lanarkshire ran publicity campaigns in the festive period and spring, with separate materials targeting young people and those aged 35-55.
A core part of this has been the “Let’s Talk” message encouraging anyone who feels suicidal to talk to a friend, family member or relevant support resource. It also seeks to help family and friends start a conversation with someone they are worried about.
The campaign has been running across North Lanarkshire since April and also shown on STV on demand, Google Ads and promoted social media posts.
The committee noted the report which will now be forwarded to the joint board for further approval.