MacKay Hannah

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Public Services can play a role in reducing suicides in Scotland

A new report published by Samaritans has suggested that the suicide rate in Scotland is three times higher amongst those living with debt and poverty. Samaritans are calling for more action to be taken to tackle inequality, which it says is an important factor when it comes to people taking their own lives.

Housing, debt and bleak employment opportunities were all key factors in suicide rates being higher amongst the most deprived of Scotland’s population when compared to its least deprived (22.1 deaths per 100,000 population compared with 7.3). Over a 12 month period, almost 700 people took their own lives in Scotland.

Samaritans' chief executive Ruth Sutherland said: "Suicide is an inequality issue which we have known about for some time. This report says that's not right, it's not fair and it's got to change. Addressing inequality would remove the barriers to help and support where it is needed most and reduce the need for it in the first place.”

"Government, public services, employers, service providers, communities, family and friends all have a role in making sure help and support are relevant and accessible when it matters most."

James Jopling, executive director for Samaritans in Scotland added: “Those who are at risk of suicide are people that have employers, who seek help at job centres, go to their GP, people that come into contact with national and local government agencies, perhaps on a daily basis.

“In the light of this report we are asking key people and organisations from across society in Scotland to take action to make sure their service, their organisation… are doing all they can to promote mental health”.

Join us as we examine how organisations, particularly in the public sector, can take action and implement processes when dealing with consumers with debt and mental health issues.

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Fantastic venue, good speakers and well organised. Very much enjoyed my time at this conference and thank you for extending the conference to students.

Ewan Taylor - University of Dundee,
Delegate Closing Scotland's Education Poverty and Attainment Gap

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