Suicide Prevention

Two people die by suicide every day in Scotland.

That’s 784 deaths in Scotland last year, which is an increase from 680 in 2017.

The Scottish Government published a new Suicide Prevention Action Plan – Every Life Matters – in August 2018. The Action Plan set an ambitious target to reduce the rate of suicide by 20% by 2022 from a 2017 baseline.

Our long standing campaign, Two Too Many highlighted the devastating impact of suicide. Everyday SAMH works to prevent suicide and to support those affected.  

We have made good progress in tackling suicide over the last 10 years with the suicide rate in Scotland reducing it by 20% during the period 2002-2007 to the period 2013-2017. However the number of people who died by suicide increased last year, this is a stark reminder that we cannot lose focus and must prioritise tackling suicide. SAMH is committed to playing our part in this. 

SAMH’s new strategy will place the charity at the heart of suicide prevention work in Scotland and will include:

  • Launch a toolkit for every school, workplace and community affected by suicide
  • Increase our resource to deliver a suite of suicide intervention training across Scotland.
  • Develop our work on a 14 day therapeutic service for people in distress.
  • Create an exemplar local suicide prevention programme through increased knowledge, understanding and support tailored to the local environment.
  • Informed by people who have been affected by suicide, produce a refreshed suite of information resources.
  • Bring together organisations working on men’s mental health to collaborate and share good practice.

SAMH View - Suicide Prevention

National Suicide Prevention: Lived Experience Panels

SAMH is pleased to invite expressions of interest from people across Scotland to take part in the National Suicide Prevention: Lived Experience Panel. The panel will provide an important platform for people with lived experience of suicide to share their valuable insights and experiences.

Find out more

Gender divide

There’s still a gender divide when it comes to suicide, with men more than two-and-a-half times more likely than women to die by suicide.

Men sometimes aren’t comfortable reaching out, or think it might be a burden for their friends if they talk openly about life’s challenges. The Movember Foundation’s latest campaign is seeking to encourage people to look out for the men in their lives, and if they’re worried about them, to ask if they’re doing okay. The more conversations we start about this topic, the closer we will get to making a difference to men’s lives.

Derek's story

Derek could have been one of the two people who die by suicide every day in Scotland - if it wasn't for a timely intervention.

Read Derek's story

Derek's story

Samaritans is a 24-hour helpline offering emotional support for anyone feeling down, distressed or struggling to cope. Call them on 116 123 or email: