We’re pleased to see the Scottish Government commit to improving access to “high quality, compassionate, appropriate and timely support” for people affected by suicide.
It has pledged this support for all children, young people and adults who experience suicidal thoughts and behaviour, anyone who cares for them, and anyone affected by suicide in other ways.
This includes postvention support, for example following a suicide attempt or bereavement.
The Scottish Government has also committed to doubling funding for suicide prevention from £1.4m to £2.8m by 2025/26.
The commitments are in the latest Scottish Government Suicide Prevention Strategy, announced this week by Scotland’s Mental Wellbeing and Social Care Minister Kevin Stewart.
They mirror asks we made in our response to the consultation informing the strategy in August.
Our response called for the “promotion and provision of effective, timely and compassionate support” and “increased investment to address the growing waiting lists for psychological therapies across Scotland, including counselling”.
Steve Mulligan, our Four Nations Lead, said access to psychological therapies was a crucial part of suicide prevention.
He said: “Records indicate there were more than 750 deaths by suicide in Scotland in 2021.
“We welcome Government action to double funding to tackle the wide range of issues related to suicide in Scotland.
“We believe access to psychological therapies is critical to suicide prevention and we welcome the recognition in the strategy of the particular barriers faced by people from marginalised communities in getting the help they need.
“We hope this commitment from the Scottish Government will improve opportunities for people from all backgrounds and all walks of life in Scotland to access the timely and effective psychological support.”
Read the latest Scottish Suicide Prevention Strategy.
Promoting the value of counselling with key decision makers across the parliaments and assemblies of the UK
How to get therapy
Where and how you can get access to counselling and psychotherapy, including free and paid for services
Get help for someone else
How to offer support and where to get advice.