CHOOSE LIFE: Suicide. Don’t hide it. Talk about it! : “We’re here to help. We’re here for YOU when you’re feeling down.”

 Getting further help

Encourage the person to make an appointment with their GP, or to call one of the helplines below. You can even call them yourself to talk things through – dealing with suicide can be difficult.

  • Breathing Space on             0800 83 85 87       (24 hours at weekends, Fri–Mon 6pm–6am and Mon–Thurs 6pm–2am)
  • Samaritans on             08457 90 90 90       (24 hours, 7 days a week)
  “We’re here to help. We’re here for you when you’re feeling down.”


The Choose Life strategy has six objectives:

  • identify and intervene to reduce suicidal behaviour in high risk groups
  • develop and implement a co-ordinated approach to reduce suicidal behaviour
  • ensure interventions to reduce suicidal behaviour are informed by evidence from research and evaluated appropriately
  • provide support to those affected by suicidal behaviour
  • provide education and training about suicidal behaviour and promote awareness about the help available
  • reduce availability and lethality of methods used in suicidal behaviour.


Who is involved?

The responsibility for achieving these aims lies with both national and local organisations including the Scottish Government, NHS, local authorities and voluntary organisations. There is a national monitoring group that meets quarterly to monitor progress.


High-risk groups

Suicide prevention in Scotland is treated as a population-wide issue but the latest refresh of the National Strategy and Action Plan has identified the following groups as at particularly high risk:

  • people experiencing mental illness (primarily depression and bi-polar disorder)
  • people who misuse substances – especially alcohol
  • people with co-existing mental illness and substance misuse
  • people who have a history of self-harm or who have attempted suicide
  • people in psychiatric care and those recently discharged from psychiatric hospital
  • people recently bereaved
  • people living in areas of socio-economic deprivation
  • people with low socio-economic status
  • people who are unemployed
  • people who have experienced life stress – especially physical and/or sexual abuse
  • people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.
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