Ahead of the Scottish Government publishing its Suicide Prevention Strategy tomorrow, 432 days late, Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP has demanded that it prompt a "transformation" in mental health services.
Recent figures revealed there were 728 suicides in Scotland in 2016 - an increase of 8% compared to 2015.
The SNP Government’s Mental Health Strategy was also published 454 days late.
Mr Cole-Hamilton said:
“We’ve been waiting to see the Scottish Government’s new Suicide Prevention Strategy for over 400 days. Ministers should never have allowed it to expire at the end of 2016. With the number of suicides on the rise, waiting times for Child and Adolescent mental health services at an all-time low and ministers apparently asleep at the wheel there is a national imperative for the government to change tack and bring about a transformation in mental health services.
“Evidence shows that preventative strategies do work and with resources in place we can save lives in the future.
“Many of these tragic and unnecessary deaths can be avoided. Bold action is needed now to support people who may feel isolated and be struggling with their mental health.
“The delayed mental health strategy was received with disappointment for its lack of ambition, I sincerely hope the Suicide strategy improves on that.”