Commenting on new statistics revealing that there were 833 probable suicides registered in Scotland in 2019, which is an increase from 784 in 2018, Scottish Greens health spokesperson Alison Johnstone MSP said:
“These distressing statistics reveal that more than two people took their own lives each day in 2019. My thoughts go out to all those whose lives have been impacted by this tragedy, but of course condolences are not enough. This devastating loss of life shows the urgent need for the Scottish Government to improve access to mental health services. And with figures for 2020 likely to be significantly worse, that improvement cannot come soon enough.
“Encouraging men to be more open about their mental health clearly has a role to play, but so too does ensuring that the support services are there for them when they do come forward seeking help.
“Between 2015 and 2019 the suicide rate in the most deprived areas was three times that of the least deprived areas. It’s no coincidence that the rising number of suicides has coincided with the decimation of the UK’s welfare safety net, the imposition of despicable sanctions and degrading medical assessments. Ending poverty must be a priority for all and while it’s unlikely that a Tory Government at Westminster will take this challenge seriously, it’s all the more important that we use every power available to the Scottish Parliament to achieve this goal.”