Cole-Hamilton: Saving lives must be the focus in Scotland’s mental health crisis


Scottish Liberal Democrat leader and health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP has today condemned the government’s failure to take sufficient action to cut high suicide rates, after new figures revealed that men make up three quarters of all suicides and that suicide rates are 2.9 times higher in the most deprived areas of Scotland.  

The latest figures come in the wake of extremely long waiting times, as 30% of children miss the 18-week mental health waiting time target. More than 1,600 children and more than 4,000 adults are now waiting longer than a year for treatment.  

Responding to the figures for suicide rates and mental health wait times, Mr Cole-Hamilton commented:  

“The figures today are utterly heart-breaking. Too many families across Scotland will be devastated by this news and I want to extend my fullest sympathies to them.  

“Saving lives needs to be the focus. 

“Shockingly, suicide prevention seems to rank low on the Scottish Government’s list of priorities. That needs to change and it needs to change quickly.  

“Scottish Liberal Democrats want to see a detailed timeline and evidence of how the government will clear waiting lists, backed up with fresh funds for mental health services and more local and accessible services and practitioners.  

“We are also calling for robust 24/7 crisis care for those who are especially vulnerable so that there can always be somewhere meaningful to turn to in the most desperate hour of need.  

"We have led Parliament in formally declaring a mental health crisis and now the Scottish Government must meet that challenge." 


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