Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP has today branded new statistics showing a dramatic rise in the number of suicides in Scotland in 2018 “startling and heart-breaking” as he demanded new investment in mental health.
New statistics published today by ISD Scotland reveal:
- There were 784 probable suicides registered in Scotland in 2018, which is an increase from 680 in 2017 (15%).
- The number of suicides among the 15-24 age group rose from 64 in 2017 to 96 in 2018, an increase of 50%.
- Suicides were at their highest rate in 5 years.
- The number of males who died by suicide was 581 and the number of females was 203. In 2018, the probable suicide rate for males was three times that for females.
Mr Cole-Hamilton said:
“These are startling and heartbreaking statistics. More than two people a day are dying by suicide and there has been a unbelievable rise in deaths among young people.
“For the majority of the period covered by these statistics, there was no suicide strategy in place. This is symptomatic of a catastrophic failure in the Scottish Government’s response to a mental health crisis in this country. Young people are still waiting up to two years for child and adolescent mental health treatment. Liberal Democrats have been calling for radical investment in those services to answer the crushing need in our communities.
“People must have access to consistent, reliable support as soon as they need it. Scottish Liberal Democrats would end the waits of up to two years for mental health treatment, putting new mental health workers in every GP surgery in the country.
“Vulnerable people have been completely and utterly let down by this government with the most horrendous consequences.”