Engagement Process of the Draft Suicide Prevention Action Plan 2018

Closed 30 Apr 2018

Opened 8 Mar 2018

Feedback updated 3 Dec 2018

We asked

Between 8 March and 30 April 2018 we asked for written feedback on a number of themes and draft actions being considered for inclusion in the Scottish Government’s next Suicide Prevention Action Plan. The themes and actions were developed through earlier conversations with a range of stakeholders, including individuals with lived experience.

You said

The written engagement received 290 responses, with 196 from members of the public and 94 from organisations. Overall, there was general support among respondents for the main proposals:

  • 93% agreed that a “Knowledge Into Action” (KIA) group should be established to ensure better use of available evidence.  
  • 83% agreed that a new mental health and suicide prevention training programme should be developed.
  • 78% agreed that a Suicide Prevention Confederation should be established.
  • 93% agreed that an online suicide prevention presence should be developed across Scotland.

We did

We considered all responses to the engagement and commissioned an analysis report: https://www2.gov.scot/Resource/0054/00543412.pdf.

We took responses into account when developing the final Suicide Prevention Action Plan, “Every Life Matters”, which was published on 9 August 2018. This action plan is aimed at continuing the downward trend in suicides in Scotland. We also appointed Rose Fitzpatrick, formerly of Police Scotland, to chair the leadership group to take forward the Actions in the Plan, with an additional £3 million funding.



Every life matters and everyone has a role to play in suicide prevention. The impact of suicide on families, friends and communities is devastating and has long lasting consequences.

Our existing Suicide Prevention Strategy covered the period 2013-16 and set out a range of commitments under 5 broad themes: Responding to people in distress; Talking about suicide; Improving the NHS response to suicide; Developing the evidence base; and Supporting change and improvement.

The Scottish Government is seeking views on themes and draft actions for possible inclusion in a new Suicide Prevention Action Plan aimed at continuing the downward trend in suicides in Scotland. The themes and draft actions have been published in an engagement paper on 8 March 2018, and have arisen from discussions with a wide range of stakeholders, including people with lived experience, over the past few months.

Interested parties and individuals are now invited to respond formally to the themes and draft actions on suicide prevention over a 7 week period from 8 March 2018 to 30 April 2018 through:

Why your views matter

The engagement process will provide a forum for open discussion on a paper outlining themes/issues and draft actions aimed at continuing the downward trend in suicides in Scotland. Undertaking this process will help give a better understanding of what could be done better or differently to reduce suicide and the impact it has on people, families and communities in Scotland.


Sources of Support

  • If you are in distress or have suicidal feelings please contact your GP for advice and support. Out of GP opening hours, telephone advice and support on healthcare can also be obtained from NHS 24 on the short code 111.
  • Breathing Space offers free and confidential advice for people experiencing low mood, depression or anxiety, whatever the cause. Breathing Space can be contacted on 0800 83 85 87, 6pm to 2am Monday to Thursday; and 6pm Friday through the weekend to 6am Monday. Calls to Breathing Space are free from landlines and from mobile networks.
    See also http://breathingspace.scot/
  • Samaritans provide confidential non-judgemental emotional support, 24 hours a day, for people who are experiencing feelings of distress or despair. They can be contacted free of charge on 116 123.
    See also http://www.samaritans.org/
  • If you are feeling actively suicidal and have the means to carry this out, please dial 999 and ask for an ambulance. 


Download the consultation paper.

What happens next

Any key points raised either at the public engagement events or via the online engagement consultation, will be written up into a summary report which will be presented back to the Scottish Government once all the engagement sessions have been conducted.

The final version of the Scottish Government’s next Suicide Prevention Action Plan is due to be published in summer 2018.


  • Equality, Welfare and Rights
  • Health and Social Care