SAMH comment on new suicide figures

27th June 2018

SAMH (Scottish Association for Mental Health) is encouraged by the reduction in the number of people who died by suicide last year, however we cannot become complacent. 

Statistics published today show that in Scotland last year 680 people lost their lives to suicide. This is a reduction of 6.5% (48 people) compared with the previous year.  

Whilst we welcome this reduction, attention needs to be drawn to the gender divide that exists when it comes to suicide. In today’s figures we see this gap widening with men more than three times as likely to die by suicide, compared with two-and-a-half times the year before. Fewer women died by suicide in the last year but the number of men dying by suicide rose slightly. 

Men in their middle years remain the most at risk group. Last month SAMH announced a partnership with the Suicidal Behaviour Research Lab at Glasgow University which will deliver ground-breaking research, funded by SAMH to focus specifically on the suicide risk associated with men.  

Billy Watson, SAMH Chief Executive said:

“We are encouraged that there has been a decrease in the number of deaths by suicide, however we cannot become complacent.

“When someone dies by suicide, it has an impact like no other. 

“Men are particularly at risk, especially those in their middle-years and we need to understand more about the factors which contribute to them completing suicide.  

“We know that suicide devastates and we look forward to seeing the Scottish Government’s final Suicide Prevention Action Plan and hope it will reflect many of SAMH’s key asks, including action targeted at men, as outlined in our response.”

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: