THE Scottish suicide rate reduced by 17.8% between the periods 2000-2004 and 2010-2014, according to new figures published today.
The statistics, published by ISD Scotland and National Record of Scotland, show that 696 people died by suicide in 2014, compared with 795 in 2013.
National Records of Scotland has recently changed the way suicides are recorded. Based on the old system, which is used for longer term comparisons, the number of suicides is the lowest since 1977.
The Scottish Government established a three year Suicide Prevention Strategy in 2013.
This involves contributions from NHS Health Scotland’s National Programme for Suicide Prevention, the wider NHS, social work professionals, local authorities, the voluntary sector and the police.
Jamie Hepburn, Minister for Sport, Health Improvement and Mental Health, said: “Any suicide is a tragedy, but the reduction of 17.8% represents a particularly welcome development. This would not have been possible without the dedication of the professionals who work in this often challenging field.
“We know that suicide rates are strongly related to deprivation levels, I am pleased to see that this inequality has decreased in recent years.
“People who are considering taking their own lives often feel they have nowhere left to turn. We must continue to ensure that the right help and support is available to them. I would urge anyone experiencing depression to contact their GP for advice and support. Out of hours support is also available from NHS24 on 111, and from Breathing Space on 0800 83 85 87. Samaritans can be contacted on 0845 7 90 90 90.”