Minister for Mental Health Clare Haughey MSP and COSLA Spokesperson for Health and Social Care Councillor Stuart Currie said:
The difficult times brought about by the coronavirus pandemic have negatively impacted the mental health and wellbeing of many of us. While we may not yet know what effect the pandemic will have on the incidence of suicidal thoughts, self-harm, and suicide, we welcome the National Suicide Prevention Leadership Group’s (NSPLG) COVID-19 Statement. Their recommendations for evidence based action are designed to ensure that there is a pandemic-specific approach to suicide prevention.
The Scottish Government and COSLA have carefully considered the contents of the COVID-19 Statement and the recommendations made. The Scottish Government and COSLA welcome the group’s leadership in making these four recommendations which we accept. We want these recommendations, alongside a focus on certain actions in the Suicide Prevention Action Plan, to drive forward improvements to suicide prevention in Scotland.
The Scottish Government and COSLA note the NSPLG’s recommendation on a successor to the existing Suicide Prevention Action Plan and we will work together in considering how future strategy could be shaped.
We are grateful for the commitment of the National Suicide Prevention Leadership Group. Suicide prevention is everyone’s business, and we want to make sure our communities are supported. We want to make it clear that if you or someone you know is experiencing thoughts of suicide, there is help available: www.nhsinform.scot/campaigns/suicide