More resources needed to support suicide prevention in Glasgow, says charity

More resources are needed to support suicide prevention, a leading charity has warned, after it emerged that Glasgow had the highest level of suicides in Scotland over the past five years.
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Figures released by the National Records of Scotland (NRS) showed that the number of suicides in Scotland had decreased overall, with 753 recorded suicides in 2021, down from 805 in 2020 and the lowest level since 2017. Despite this the number of deaths rose in Glasgow from from 88 to 106 between 2017 and 2021.

The report also reveals that the rate of suicide in the most deprived areas in Scotland was 2.9 times as high than in the least deprived.

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Samaritans Scotland, the country’s leading suicide prevention charity, recently launched a new strategy to reduce the number of lives lost. It believes the data shows a need for more resources to support suicide prevention in Scotland – and to act on those factors that may cause distress or which might contribute to someone being at risk of suicide.

There has been a rise in suicides in Glasgow.There has been a rise in suicides in Glasgow.
There has been a rise in suicides in Glasgow.

Danielle Rowley, Samaritans Scotland’s influencing manager, said: “Every life lost to suicide is a tragedy and 753 deaths shows us there is still a huge amount of work to be done.

“While we welcome the overall downward trend, particularly a significant reduction among females, we must continue to take action on the range of factors that may contribute to suicide risk.

“Those living in Scotland’s most deprived areas remain three times more likely to die by suicide than those in more affluent areas, and men continue to account for most deaths. This data, and Samaritans’ own research, suggests reaching out to men from lower-income areas – who are at the highest risk of suicide – must be a major focus of preventing suicide in Scotland.”

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The data also showed that there has been an increase in the number of men aged between 65 and 84 who committed suicide as well as people between 25 and 34.

The number of women who took their own life dropped by 18% while suicide rates are highest between the ages of 25 and 64.

Ms Rowley added: “Suicide is complex and there is no single reason why someone may take their own life. However, by ensuring there is a range of support available to those who are struggling – and working to address inequalities in our society – these numbers can be reduced further.

“We receive a call to Samaritans’ helpline every ten seconds. It reminds us why we continue not only to be there 24/7 for anyone who needs a listening ear, but also to make real and lasting change to achieve our vision for a Scotland where fewer lives are lost to, and devastated by, suicide.”

Those who need support can contact Samaritans on 0330 094 5717.

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