Representatives of the National Suicide Prevention Leadership group have responded to today’s release of data from National Records of Scotland for 2020 which shows a very small year on year decrease in deaths by probable suicide.

Statistics released by National Records of Scotland show that there were 805 probable suicides registered in 2020, a decrease of 3% on 2019 (which was up 6% on 2018).

This is, however, higher than the previous five-year average (739). Suicides decreased between 2011 and 2014, but have generally risen again since then.

Men accounted for 71% of probable suicides in 2020 (575), a 3%…


Scotland’s National Suicide Prevention Leadership Group (NSPLG) have launched a pilot service to support families bereaved by suicide.

Established by the Scottish Government, NSPLG brings together people with lived experience of suicide alongside, academic, third sector, and statutory partners to support the delivery of Scotland’s Suicide Prevention Action Plan: Every Life Matters.

One key action in the plan is delivering support to families bereaved by suicide. The Scottish Government is providing funding of £510,000 for the pilot service which will provide practical and emotional support to families who have lost a loved one to suicide, for up to two years


The National Suicide Prevention Leadership Group (NSPLG) is to launch a new Youth Advisory Group made up of young people (16–26) who have experience of suicide, self-harm or poor mental health. The group will help advise and support the delivery of Scotland’s Suicide Prevention Action Plan.

We’ve prepared a handy guide on what’s happening…

Why are we creating a youth advisory group?

The National Suicide Prevention Leadership Group, known as the NSPLG, brings together organisations and people who work on suicide prevention. Together they are helping to put into practice the Scottish Government’s Suicide Prevention Action Plan.

One of…


A new toolkit which will help every local authority in Scotland to develop a tailored action plan to prevent suicide is being launched today (13 April) by the National Suicide Prevention Leadership Group (NSPLG).

This is the first time that universal information and guidance, including examples of ‘best practice’ and links to online resources, has been provided to all 32 local authorities to support them to develop effective Local Action Plans for suicide prevention in their area.

The guide will ensure that Local Action Plans align with the national strategy, make use of experiential and research evidence, meet local needs…


We believe that if everyone understood the key issues surrounding mental health, self-harm and suicide prevention we would be able to help so many more people. Suicide is surrounded by stigma and shame and opening up this conversation and enabling people to feel more comfortable to use the word ‘suicide’ and talk openly with others about mental health and suicidal feelings would be a big step in the right direction.

This is why as part of Scotland’s Suicide Prevention Action Plan, Every Life Matters, we are developing learning resources for the health and wider public workforce to raise awareness of…


Today we launched a new animated explainer film to explain who we are and what we do.

Suicide is an enormously difficult subject to grapple with so we enlisted the help of two members of our Lived Experience Panel, Jenn and Steph, to ensure the animation addresses the issues they feel most strongly about.

Jenn lost her brother Calum to suicide and Steph has attempted to take her own life over 20 times and we wanted to empower them to tell people how relevant and important our work is.

What does NSPLG do?

So this was very much a co-production…


Rose Fitzpatrick, the National Suicide Prevention Leadership Group’s chair, looks back on a challenging 2020, and ahead with optimism to the new year ahead.

Well, 2020 has been quite a year, hasn’t it? For all of us, whether we’ve been affected by Covid illness or spared that awful experience but had to respond to its many other challenges.


Seonaid Stallan (51) lost her son Dylan to suicide when he was 18 years old.

Dylan had been struggling for a number of years with body dysmorphic issues resulting in anxiety and depression.

Tragically three weeks after Dylan’s death Seonaid’s sister-in-law Vanessa, who had been very close to Dylan, also took her own life.

Seonaid is now an advisor on the Lived Experience Panel with the National Suicide Prevention Leadership Group (NSPLG).

We asked her to tell us about her hopes for 2021…

One of my wishes for 2021 is that people feel able to talk about suicide.

When a…


Emeritus Professor of Health Policy Research at University of Edinburgh and co-chair NSPLG Academic Advisory Group Steve Platt FAcSS helps us to understand some of the key information we’ve learnt from the data release about suicide in 2019.

National Records of Scotland today released information about the number of probable deaths by suicide in 2019.

It’s important to note that annual changes don’t always give the detail we need to understand trends. For that reason, we prefer to look at data over several years.

This enables us to see if trends are actually emerging.

Before we go on, however, let’s…


Key figures who are leading Scotland’s new approach to suicide prevention today reacted to the news that the number of people who died by suicide in Scotland in 2019 rose for a second successive year.

Statistics released by National Records of Scotland show that there were 833 probably suicides registered in 2019, an increase of 6% on 2018 (which was up 15% on 2017). This is the highest annual total since 2011 (889).

Men accounted for nearly three quarters (74%) of probable suicides in 2019, a similar proportion to every year since the late 1980s.

Nearly a third (32%) of…

National Suicide Prevention Leadership Group

NSPLG is an independent group set up to advise on, and establish delivery of, Scotland’s Suicide Prevention Action Plan.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store