As highlighted in Scotland’s Drowning Prevention Strategy, on average 29 people take their own life in water-related suicides each year in Scotland. Recently published data from the Water Incident Database (WAID) indicates an increase in this average. One of Water Safety Scotland’s key targets is to contribute to the reduction of water-related suicide.
Scotland has a suicide prevention strategy entitled; 'Creating Hope Together: suicide prevention strategy 2022 to 2032'. Its vision is to reduce the number of suicide deaths in Scotland, whilst tackling the inequalities which contribute to suicide. The strategy is the responsibility of both Scottish Government and COSLA.
Other guidance documents in Scotland include: ·
- ‘National guidance on action to address suicides at locations of concern’. This document aims to support Community Planning Partnership (CPP) to develop local strategies in identified locations of concern to prevent suicides.
- ‘National guidance for identifying and responding to a suicide cluster’ This document is a practical guide to prevent and respond to suicide clusters (usually three or more deaths)
- ‘National guidance on managing the risks of public memorials after a probable suicide’. This document is a guidance document for local groups involved in Suicide Prevention on how to respond to and manage memorials for suicides in public spaces.
- Local Area Suicide Prevention Action Plan Guidance from COSLA to help local areas in the development of suicide prevention action plans. The guidance is the first step of Action 1 of the national strategy.
Suicide is preventable and Water Safety Scotland wants to raise awareness of misconceptions and myths surrounding suicide to help overcome stigma and inaccurate stereotypes.
Common misconceptions about suicide are:
- If someone is talking about completing suicide, they are not serious about it
- Suicide can’t be prevented
- People who are suicidal are also mentally ill
- Suicidal thoughts mean that person wants to complete suicide
- If I talk about suicide, it will make people more likely to complete suicide
- Suicides only happen during the winter
- People who are suicidal are just attention seeking
Below you can find various links to partner organisations which discuss these misconceptions and myths in detail.
Link to the Change Mental Health website
Link to the Samaritans website
Link to the Breathing Space website
Link to the NHS 24 mental health hub
You can also call Breathing Space which is Scotland’s mental health helpline for those experiencing low mood, anxiety and depression. It offers free advice for those over the age of 16.
Call 0800 83 85 87, 6pm to 2am Monday to Thursday; and from 6pm Friday throughout the weekend to 6am Monday.
If you or someone you know is experiencing a serious mental health crisis please call 999 and ask for help.