Choose Life in North Lanarkshire (Suicide prevention) - Mental health

Choose Life is a national strategy and action plan aimed at addressing the rising rate of suicide in Scotland

Choose Life requires action at both a national and local level.

Why is Suicide Prevention a priority in Scotland?

Headline statistics

  • There were 762* deaths by suicide in Scotland in 2012 (deaths from intentional self harm and events of undetermined intent). This equates to an age-standardised rate of 14.0 deaths per 100,000 population.
  • Based on three-year rolling averages there was an 18% fall in suicide rates between 2000-2002 and 2010-2012.
  • In 2012, the suicide rate for males was almost three times that for females.
  • Suicide rates generally increase with increasing deprivation, with rates in the most deprived areas of Scotland significantly higher than the Scottish average. Suicide rates in the most deprived decile were double the Scottish average.
  • There is a 20% decrease in the suicide rate for males from (26.7 to 21.3 per 100,000) and a 10% decrease in the suicide rate for females from (8.1 to 7.3 per 100,000).
  • Suicide rates vary among NHS Board and local authority (LA) areas. Between 1983 - 1987 and 2008 - 2012, no NHS Board or LA had a statistically significant increase or decrease. In 2008 - 2012 the only area to differ from the Scottish average for persons was Perth and Kinross LA which was significantly lower.

Over 600 people commit suicide in Scotland every year and over 7,000 people are treated in hospital each year for incidents of non-fatal self-harm. Within the general population, 13% reported having suicidal thoughts, 4% had attempted suicide and 2% had committed an act of self-harm at some time in their lives (Office for National Statistics, 2002). It is estimated that approximately 1 in 17 (250,000) people are having thoughts of suicide at any one time in Scotland.


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