Scotland could become first country in world with self-harm strategy

Scotland is aiming to become the first country in the world with a dedicated self-harm strategy.

Kevin Stewart, the Scottish government's minister for mental wellbeing, has said that Scotland is aiming to become the first country in the world with a dedicated self-harm strategy.

By current definition self-harm comes under a national suicide prevention strategy in Scotland.

A Scottish Government minister has revealed however a different approach to self is now being considered.

Sign up to our public interest bulletins - get the latest news on the Coronavirus

Sign up to our public interest bulletins - get the latest news on the Coronavirus

Kevin Stewart, the Scottish government's minister for mental wellbeing, told BBC Scotland: "We need to go further and I think it is only right that we look at a self-harm strategy and action plan as we have done with suicide prevention.

"I'm not aware of any other country in the world that has a unique dedicated self-harm strategy but that is what we are going to do.

“The Government will continue to work with partners like the Samaritans in order for us to get this right in the future."

Read More

Read More
SNP claim boundary reforms will ‘weaken Scotland’s voice’ with loss of two MPs

It comes as rates of self-harm are increasing across the country, particularly amongst young people and those from deprived backgrounds.

One in 10 calls to the Samaritans are about self-harm and a report from the charity expresses concerns that self-harm support is falling off the agenda.

Glasgow University professor Rory O'Connor, who is involved in suicide prevention and self harm research, told the BBC’s Good Morning Scotland: "If we look at the stereotype, this stigmatising myth that self-harm is about attention-seeking, it is not. It is about attention-needing.

“Ask yourself how bad you must feel if you are willing to harm yourself because that way of harming yourself is often a way of dealing with unbearable pain."

SAMH 0141 530 1000

Breathing Space 0800 83 85 87

Samaritans 116 123

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this article. We're more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by Coronavirus impacts our advertisers.

If you haven't already, please consider supporting our trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription.

 0 comments

Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.