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Report reveals lack of contact with mental health services for people who take their own life

A 'substantial' proportion of people who die by suicide in Scotland do not have contact with specialist mental health services, a report reveals.

A 'substantial' proportion of people who die by suicide in Scotland do not have prior contact with specialist mental health services, a report reveals.

There were 4,388 probable suicides in Scotland between 2009 and 2014, according to a report published earlier this month by NHS National Services Scotland (NHS NSS).

Poorest areas

While the overall suicide rate for Scotland has fallen over the past 10 years, people living in the poorest areas have about a three times higher risk of suicide compared with those in the most affluent areas.

Up to eight out of ten people who took their own life did not have a psychiatric outpatient appointment in the year before their death.

Awareness of risks

NHS NSS said the figures highlighted the importance of ensuring health and social care professionals were alert to the risk of suicide and were able to ask people about suicidal feelings.

Scottish suicide information database steering group chair Steve Platt said: ‘The findings highlight the importance of recognising and addressing the pattern of social and economic circumstances among people who take their own lives.’

Report on deaths by suicide 2009-14

Report on suicide statistics for Scotland up to 2015

 

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