SAMH comment on the self harm strategy and action plan

28th November 2023

Responding to the publication of the Scottish Government and COSLA’s self-harm strategy Billy Watson, Chief Executive of SAMH, said:

“We welcome the publication of this strategy, which is an important addition to Scotland’s mental health policy landscape. Self-harm is often not well-understood and this strategy can go some way to creating a broader, practical, and more nuanced and sensitive understanding. We’re pleased to see the strategy adopt an outcomes-based approach and recognise the need to both address stigma and discrimination and ensure alignment with other policy areas such as suicide prevention.

“However, the strategy will need to be adequately resourced if it is to be properly implemented. New investment by Scottish Government is welcome but we await more information on how that is to be spent. Additionally, people with lived experience of self-harm were involved with the development of the strategy and we’d also like to see their explicit participation as part of a human rights-based approach to its implementation.”