Suicide – why the increase?

Suicide

Suicide – why the increase?

In all honesty, it was really only a matter of time and in many respects a bit of a reality check to what is currently a really challenging and volatile socio-economic and political landscape.

To highlight, there were 728 probable suicides registered in Scotland in 2016, 56 (8%) more than in the previous year.  The trend continues for men who are almost three times more likely to die by suicide compared to women. These yearly statistics are released by the National Records of Scotland every August.

The role that MHScot Workplace Wellbeing plays in trying to have an impact on this figure is paramount because we already know that a huge percentage of these people continue to struggle in work.  Between 2009 and 2014, 71% of those who died by suicide were in employment at the time of their death.

We also know that in areas of deprivation (where the statistics continue to show the highest levels of suicide) many people are poorly paid, underemployed, on zero-hour or unstable contracts, are accessing food banks and struggling to make ends meet.

The very places where people struggling are around others is in the workplace and we have a real chance to spot the signs and symptoms that someone is experiencing distress or hardship.  Leaving work at the end of a day or shift is a chance to quietly disappear and hide, closing the door on a day best forgotten. The places we live now have much less community cohesion, we barely know our neighbours, if at all.

The workplace is a KEY opportunity that mustn’t be missed and we can ALL play a part in that no matter who we are.

Written by MHScot Team Member, Catherine Eadie

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