A new approach to improve help for people who are feeling suicidal has been launched following recommendations made by the National Suicide Prevention Leadership Group (NSPLG).
A new group, The Suicidal Crisis Support Action Group, will drive implementation of the Time, Space and Compassion approach, a new way to improve help for people who are suicidal.
Mental Wellbeing Minister Kevin Stewart said: “I welcome the report from the NSPLG and the recommendations it makes on improving responses to people in suicidal crisis. We will consider the recommendations in full.
“To deliver the scale of change set out in their recommendations, a dedicated Suicidal Crisis Support Action Group will be established to take forward and oversee the implementation of this work. The appointment of Nigel recognises his career in developing compassionate support for vulnerable people, including those at risk of suicide. The group will be accountable to ministers and continue to work in close partnership with NSPLG.
“We know there are some excellent examples of suicidal crisis support services across Scotland already, and we have an opportunity to learn from those to make sure this type of support is available right across Scotland.
“Every day, people in our communities, and those working in statutory and third sector services, are responding compassionately to people in crisis. However, there is more we can do. This report offers a real opportunity to transform how we engage and support our most vulnerable people at times of suicidal crisis,” he added.
The Time, Space and Compassion approach aims to ensure that people experiencing a suicidal crisis are able to access support at a time they need it, in an accessible and available space, and are shown compassion by those providing the support.
Former Chief Executive of Penumbra Nigel Henderson has been appointed as National Lead for Suicidal Crisis Support to lead this work.
Nigel Henderson said: “I am very pleased to have been asked to lead on implementing this work. Having been a member of the NSPLG and directly involved in this work, I believe that developing the Time, Space, Compassion approach has the potential to make a positive difference to how we respond to people experiencing suicidal crisis. There is much to do, and I look forward to working with people, communities and organisations to take forward the recommendations.”