Jackie Baillie has welcomed a reduction in the number of people who have lost their lives to suicide in West Dunbartonshire during 2022 but remains concerned that the figure is still at the same level as a decade ago.

In 2021, 18 people died by suicide within the region which was the highest rate since 2011. The figure plummeted to eight in 2022 which is the same rate as 2012.

In neighbouring Argyll and Bute, 10 people died from suicide according to the recently published figures, one more than in 2021.

Just under three-quarters of those who died by suicide across Scotland in 2022 (73.2 percent) were male. In West Dunbartonshire, all but one of the recorded suicide deaths were males.

Jackie Baillie, Dumbarton constituency MSP, said: “While I welcome the reduction in the number of people who have died in West Dunbartonshire due to suicide, these are avoidable deaths and more work needs to be done to provide support for people in our communities. While the figure has reached higher levels in recent years, the figures for 2022 show no change to where we were 10 years ago which is worrying to say the least.

“In Argyll and Bute, the figure has increased over the past year which is heartbreaking.

“It is of grave concern that this is having a disproportionate impact on males and this needs to be addressed urgently.

“For each one of these deaths recorded, families have been destroyed because there is not enough support for mental health. That responsibility lies with the SNP Government.

“Progress on rebuilding our NHS has been far too slow. We need the Scottish Government to get to grips with this issue before it affects even more families.”

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