Data from National Records of Scotland (NRS) released today shows that there were 833 probable suicides registered in Scotland in 2019, an increase from 784 in 2018. Six hundred and twenty men and 213 women took their own lives in 2019, with people aged 45-54 most at risk. People in our poorest areas were also more likely to take their own lives.

This link between deprivation and suicide is well known. Between 2015 and 2019, people living in the most deprived areas were three times more likely to die by suicide compared to those living in the least deprived areas.

Claire Sweeney, Director of Place and Wellbeing at Public Health Scotland said,

"Each of these deaths are a tragedy arising from profound distress, and are all preventable. They will have left immeasurable grief across families and communities.

"The unprecedented challenges we have all faced in 2020 perhaps make it easier to understand that anyone can experience mental illness. That’s one of the reasons why Public Health Scotland is prioritising improving mental wellbeing as part of our strategic plan (A Scotland where everybody thrives). We will work with our partners to help grow the understanding of levels of suicide in the communities they work with, and more broadly to support better mental wellbeing across Scotland."

Following the release of these figures the Scottish Public Health Observatory has published supporting information available.

View the report on the ScotPHO website (external website)

If you or someone you know are experiencing thoughts of suicide please call Breathing Space on 0800 83 85 87 or Samaritans on 116123.

Last updated: 06 October 2022