College comments on Scotland’s slight increase in death by suicide rates

Press release, Scotland news
05 September 2023

Scotland’s death by suicide rates for 2022 saw a small increase to 762 probable deaths, figures published by National Records of Scotland (NRS) revealed.

The figure is an increase of nine compared to 2021, however, the number of suicides in Scotland has been fairly steady in the last number of years.

The rate of suspected suicides in males was almost three times as high as the rate for females, with 556 male deaths compared to 206 female.

However, male suicides decreased by nine compared to 2021, while rates for women increased by 18.

Meanwhile, NRS data showed those in the most deprived areas were more likely to die from suicide, with the mortality rate 2.6 times higher than in the least deprived.

The deprivation gap for suicides is 1.8 times higher than all causes of death in Scotland.

At a local level, the death rate was higher than the Scottish average in local authority areas: Highland, Dundee City, East Ayrshire, and Perth and Kinross.

Dr David Hall, suicide prevention lead, Royal College of Psychiatrists in Scotland, said: “Although the most recent figures do not show dramatic changes, it is particularly disappointing to note that the slight decrease noted in the last few years has not continued, despite ongoing efforts in suicide prevention.

“We must remember that every one of these probable deaths by suicide represent a terrible tragedy for all those affected.

“The dramatically increased rate in the most deprived areas of Scotland over the less deprived, illustrates the ongoing health inequalities experienced by many Scots.

“Ongoing efforts in suicide prevention and focus on ensuring that those in suicidal crisis can access prompt and appropriate help, wherever they are, remain vitally important.”

For further information, please contact: