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Health / NHS reminds ‘anyone who is struggling to seek help and support’ after probable suicide figures released

PEOPLE struggling have been reminded that help is at hand as new figures show that the number of deaths from probable suicide recorded in Shetland are at their highest since 2013.

Four were recorded in 2020, compared to two the year before.

The figures were included a new National Records of Scotland report issued this week.

But the government agency said the numbers were too low to calculate a reliable suicide mortality rate for Shetland.

In 2016 and 2017 there were no probable suicides recorded in Shetland, and seven in 2012.

Behind every statistic is a human life lost, and families and loved ones left in mourning.

NHS Shetland Choose Life coordinator Melanie Hawkins said: “The report states that the number of deaths in Shetland between 2016 – 2020 was too low to calculate a reliable rate.

“However, we know that a number of people in Shetland sadly died during this period and each of them were people’s loved ones.  We’d like to remind anyone who is struggling to seek help and support.

“Support can be accessed through your GP practice, NHS24 (111) or one of the national helplines e.g. Samaritans (116 123).

“It is important for everyone in our community to be aware of others who might be struggling, ask them how they are and support them to access help if needed, particularly as restrictions ease and things change.”


NHS Shetland’s mental health team can be contacted on 01595 743006 or shet.mentalhealth@nhs.scot.

The national Breathing Space helpline is available for anyone needing to speak about their thoughts on 0800 838587.

It is open Monday to Thursday 6pm to 2am and Friday to Monday 6pm to 6am.

Contact details for local mental health charity Mind Your Head can be found on its website.

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