It’s the subject that nobody really wants to talk about, but suicide prevention is an area which Cumbernauld Community Health Information Hub recognises the importance of raising awareness of, particularly given alarming new statistics released this week.
September is National Suicide Prevention Month, and the issue has never been more pertinent given that a research report has revealed that Scotland has the highest suicide rate in the UK, with 16.1 deaths per 100,000 persons.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) reports that in 2018 there were 6,507 deaths by suicide in the UK, with 784 Scottish people taking their own lives. Three-quarters of these deaths were amongst men, and the highest prevalence was amongst people aged 45-49. Mairi Gordon of Samaritans Scotland commented:
“After years of steady progress, these figures should serve as a stark reminder of why we must make suicide prevention a public health priority.
“The Scottish Government has published its Programme for Government setting out its priorities for the year ahead, and we hope to see efforts to improve wellbeing and strengthen suicide prevention at the heart of this work.”
The Scottish Government’s latest Suicide Prevention Action Plan can be downloaded by clicking on the highlighted link. Mary McNeil, Development Manager at Cornerstone House Centre, added:
“For various reasons, Cumbernauld remains an area in which a range of social, health, environmental and cultural factors exist, with several local neighhourhoods ranking relatively poorly in the latest Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation released in 2016.
“Making improvements in how people think and behave about suicide is a complex issue and needs a range of actions and approaches. Crucial to this is the coordination and delivery of efforts at both national and local levels.
“Anyone can have thoughts of suicide, and everyone can learn to help. Cumbernauld Community Health Information Hub is committed to supporting and promoting a range of campaigns and organisations which discuss and raise awareness of suicide and what people can do to help those at risk.”
If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please be aware that there are a range of free, confidential and compassionate services out there which offer immediate and round-the-clock help.
Within the North Lanarkshire area, local organisations such as FAMS (Families and Friends Against Murder and Suicide) can be contacted 24 hours per day on 07736 326062 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, as can Chris’s House on 01236 766755 or via email at email@example.com.
A range of further information, training and suicide prevention resources can be obtained by visiting the Choose Life website at www.chooselife.net.