Call for local elections to prioritise suicide prevention

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Local councillors and communities targeted in latest anti-suicide campaign 

26th April 2017 by Robert Armour 0 Comments

Local politicians are being urged to tackle suicide by backing a leading charity’s services across Scotland.

Samaritans is urging communities and councillors across Scotland to sign up to its ‘Local Action Saves Lives’ campaign to raise support for local suicide prevention work ahead of the forthcoming local elections.

The charity says activities carried out in each local authority, by a Choose Life group and coordinator, are part of the reason that the suicide rate continues to fall in Scotland.

It wants election candidates to be aware that this needs their support, so they can help save some of the near 700 lives lost to suicide each year. 

This comes as Samaritans’ Dying from Inequality report published last month showed significant inequalities in suicide risk according to how disadvantaged an area may be. 

Those in the most deprived areas of Scotland are three times more likely to take their own lives than those in the most affluent.  

James Jopling, executive Director for Scotland at Samaritans said: “Every life lost to suicide is a tragedy, which is felt deeply across many communities in Scotland. There are roughly two suicides a day in Scotland. 

"We are clear that more support is required for local suicide prevention in areas where the risk is greatest.

“While we don’t currently have a national suicide prevention strategy in place, every local government candidate should carry into the upcoming elections the importance of this issue in the area and with the people they intend to represent.”

“We need to continue to see the rate of suicides in Scotland fall and work at a local level, whether at a railway station, foodbank or NHS A&E Department is a vital part of that. We’re asking people to add their voices to the campaign to support vital suicide prevention work in their area.

“It’s really simple – follow the link on our website and you can play your part in reducing suicide by helping to ensure that Local Action Saves Lives.”

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