Ministers must act to stop gap between suicide prevention plans

Speaking ahead of the publication of annual statistics on probable suicides next week, Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton has today called on the Scottish Government to revise its plan to leave Scotland without a suicide prevention action plan for almost a year. 

Every Life Matters was published in 2018, 586 days after the expiry of the previous suicide action plan. It expires at the end of 2021. On 18th June 2021, Minister for Mental Wellbeing Kevin Stewart announced that the new strategy will be published in September 2022. 

Last year’s figures showed there were 833 probable suicides registered in Scotland in 2019 - an increase from 784 in 2018.  

Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP said: 

“The SNP let the last suicide action plan to expire without a replacement lined up. It left people vulnerable. 

“The government knew that the plan would expire this year, but have inexplicably failed once again to plan for what comes next. There’s no reason for complacency. We need a seamless transition between plans. 

“The pandemic has not been kind to people’s mental health. Issues like suicide prevention should not simply drop off the government’s radar. 

“Alongside a new suicide action plan, we need a rapid expansion of the mental health workforce to end the waiting times scandal and new 24/7 crisis care for those in the most urgent need. 

“Scottish Liberal Democrats won a vote in parliament declaring a mental health crisis in Scotland. The SNP continue to ignore the size of the challenge. They are setting us up for tragedy.” 


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