Paul Sweeney MSP and Health Minister Michael Matheson.

By Bill Heaney

Action must be taken now to provide proper mental health support to those in need, Scottish Labour has said today, as statistics have revealed the full extent of the impact of deprivation and gender on suicide.

Statistics published this morning have shown that between 2011 and 2021, 8,330 individuals aged 5 years old and over have died from suicide in Scotland – with an average annual suicide rate over this period was 14.8 per 100,000 people aged 5+ years.

Shockingly, the statistics show suicide deaths were nearly three times more likely among those living in the most socioeconomically deprived areas compared to those living in the least deprived areas.

Just under three-quarters of those who died by suicide (73.2%) were male.

Commenting, Scottish Labour mental health spokesperson Paul Sweeney said: “These statistics published today go to show how much more work needs to be done to support the mental health of the people of Scotland.

“That economic deprivation and gender continue to have such a clear impact on this issue is a real cause for concern.

“We know that more mental health support is needed – but action is needed as well to tackle the cost of living crisis and make work pay so that people do not fall into despair.

“Progress on re-building our NHS has been far too slow. We need Michael Matheson to get to grips with this issue before more lives are avoidably lost.”

Top picture: Gartnavel Royal Hospital in Glasgow.

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