Is Suicide the Last Social Taboo?

We believe that early intervention is the key to preventing suicide and that raising the awareness around suicide itself is best way to do that.

The figures below are taken from the latest statistics on suicides and murders, released by The Scottish Government’s “About Statistics in Scotland.” Suicides are defined as “deaths for which the underlying cause as classified as ‘intentional self-harm’ or ‘event of undetermined intent.’”

Age of deaths
Year Totals Male Female 0-19 20-59 60-85+
2011 889 639 250 32 736 121
2012 830 608 222 28 672 130
2013 795 611 184 25 637 133

Unless you have been directly affected by these statistics, it is impossible to even imagine the anguish caused by them. According to research, it is estimated that for every suicide, at least four people are directly affected. However, we know from experience that the true number can be much higher.

Even if you consider the figure to be four per suicide to be a fair assumption; that means 4 x 795 = 3,180 individuals this year struggling with traumatic grief of losing someone to suicide. Add that to the thousands from previous years yet to get the help they need and deserve, the numbers keep growing.

It is also recognised that people affected by suicide and murder often consider taking their own lives, some of which sadly do. The feeling of isolation, guilt and blame are often overwhelming and without the correct support and advice can often be a daunting task to deal with alone.

Homicides in Scotland
Year Totals Males Females
2010-11 100 79 21
2011-12 91 73 20
2012-13 62 50 12

Homicides in Scotland continue to reduce considerably. However, still too many families and friends are suffering from the aftermath.