Today Public Health Scotland welcomes the launch of the new brand and suicide prevention campaign by the National Suicide Prevention Leadership Group (NSPLG).

'United to Prevent Suicide' aims to help people have the confidence to talk openly and supportively about suicide. It encourages everyone in Scotland to sign up to the campaign and to make a shared promise to take one step to help prevent suicide.

The campaign follows on from the Choose Life campaign and strategy, which was successful in contributing to the reduction of deaths by suicide by 20% from 2013–16. The new brand will add to the vital work across many sectors in Scotland and is also intended to give a new impetus to tackling suicide by creating a social movement. It encourages us all to be confident in connecting someone to the right support.

In 2018, 784 people died by suicide in Scotland. It is a leading cause of death among young people, with men three times more likely to take their own lives compared to women. Suicide is also a health inequalities issue with people living in our poorest areas at the most risk.

Public Health Scotland (PHS) is part of the National Suicide Prevention Leadership Group (NSPLG and co-led the development of the campaign on behalf of the Scottish Government with SAMH and the Scottish Professional League Football Trust.

George Dodds, member of the NSPLG and Director at PHS said:

"At any one time in Scotland around 1 in 25 people are contemplating suicide. Every day, tragically, two people die by suicide. These are worrying statistics, no doubt about that. But we believe that suicide is preventable. The vision for the new campaign is of a Scotland where help and support is available to anyone contemplating suicide. The campaign has been developed with direct influence from people and families with lived experience of suicide, who’ve helped us to understand better what would make a difference.

"The campaign of course comes at a time when life feels quite different. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed daily life for us all and has had a real impact on how some of us are feeling. We still don’t fully understand what the effects of the pandemic will be but we’re doing everything we can to act now in anticipation of how the pandemic may affect suicide rates. We will do this with in collaboration with others at national and local level and across all sectors, so that together, we can all better understand and prevent suicide.

"That’s why it’s more important than ever to talk about suicide, and use the power of positive relationships and interactions with others to help save lives. This campaign is a key part of doing that and we are pleased to be part of it."

Visit the new United to Prevent Suicide campaign website and join the conversation.

If you or someone you know is feeling suicidal, there is support available.

Last updated: 10 September 2020