Today Public Health Scotland (PHS) released data on deaths by suicide during 2015-2020. This allows the comparison of 2020 data with the previous five years to determine the impact of the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The findings show that it is not possible to state with certainty that the suicide rate in 2020 differs from that in 2015-2019. However, the findings do show some differences including an increase of just under 4% of people who died were single compared to previous years. The highest number of deaths in 2020 was in July to September with the highest recorded in August.

Claire Sweeney, Director of Place and Wellbeing at PHS, said:

“Today’s findings will be used as part of our wider work on suicide prevention. PHS will use data and evidence and, with our partners, identify actions that can be taken to reduce avoidable deaths and support all of our communities. Suicide is preventable”.

Read the report on Suicides in Scotland in the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you or anyone you know are experiencing thoughts of suicide please call Samaritans on 116 123 (free, 24 hours), NHS24 Mental Health Hub 111 (free, 24 hours) or Breathing Space on 0800 83 85 87 (free, Mon-Thu 6pm-2am, Fri-Mon 6pm-6am).

Last updated: 06 October 2022