Why Is Suicide So High In Highland - Research to inform suicide prevention
27th June 2019
Suicide prevention is a key priority for The Highland Council.
Members have agreed today, to take forward a piece of research with partners including NHS Highland and Police Scotland, to better understand the current evidence base and experience of suicide in Highland. This is with a view to developing a new preventative model of intervention.
Suicide can affect any individual, any family and any community. All organisations, both public and voluntary, have a role to play in raising awareness and understanding of suicide and taking a collaborative approach to prevention is critical.
Suicide not only affects the immediate family and friends of an individual but the wider community. The effects are devastating and cannot be underestimated.
The rates of suicide or attempted suicide in Highland have traditionally been higher than the national average. Suicide is recognised as a priority both locally and nationally and a council report outlines the approach taken. There has been a partnership approach to suicide prevention in Highland over many years. This includes joint training, awareness raising and work with communities.
Whilst the Choose Life partnership group continues to prioritise suicide prevention and wider approaches to promoting resilience and wellbeing through its work, it is recognised that a new collaborative approach to suicide prevention is required in Highland in order to address the scale of the current challenge.
It is proposed to undertake a needs assessment focused on suicide prevention. Whilst much is already known about suicide and the frequency and risk factors associated with suicide, a needs assessment would provide an opportunity to assess current evidence across partner data sources and review successful intervention activity related to suicide prevention both nationally and internationally. This would include gathering evidence from key third sector support groups and communities impacted by suicide. NHS Highland and Police Scotland both have data analyst time to contribute to this piece of work and the Council has agreed to allocate up to £15,000 from the Change Fund to support this research.
Early intervention approaches such as these are crucial to taking a more preventative approach to how we support communities and our workforces. This work will inform the development of a prevention model for Highland, including new approaches to suicide prevention.
Leader of the Council, Margaret Davidson said: "Suicide is a tragic end of a life and has a devastating effect on everyone connected with that person. We need to understand what lies behind the stark facts to better plan what we can do to prevent suicide and provide the right support for anyone considering such a desperate and final path."
Members have, at a special council meeting today, agreed a top priority for the Scottish Government New Schools Investment Programme bid. Members agreed that the proposed Tain 3-18 Campus project is nominated as The Highland Council's priority for consideration by the Scottish Government for inclusion in the initial phase of the New Schools Investment Programme with a delivery timescale by the end of 2021.
At this time of year many householders are thinking of their gardens, keeping them tidy or seeing to those jobs that need done before the weather turns. This is also the same time of year for criminals to take advantage of this and prey on the unsuspecting.
The Council has successfully distributed more than 20,000 Chromebook devices to all its schools to support learners to acquire key technology and life skills in facilitating a digitally enabled generation. Based on the ICT in Learning Strategic Action Plan 2015, The Highland Council started the Chromebook Project in November 2017 where every pupil in P6-S6 will be allocated a Chromebook for their use in school and at home for educational purposes and P1-P5 pupils will have access to Chromebooks at school on a 1:5 ratio.
Considerable effort has been focussed on returning young people to Highland. Since the Councils enhanced Placement Programme began in June 2018, 34 young people have returned to Highland or circumvented OOA (Out of Authority) avoiding costs of over £5M as compared with these young people remaining out of area for a year.
In excess of 22,000 customers were assisted by the Council's Welfare Support Team and Citizens Advice during 2018/19 for support with welfare, debt and housing issues. 3,372 customers were helped by the Welfare Support Team and 18,777 clients were assisted by Citizens Advice.
One hundred and seventeen (117) probationer teachers were recently welcomed to Highland at an Induction course held at Millburn Academy in Inverness. The probationer teachers' induction day is the first of a number of professional learning events throughout the year specifically arranged to support probationer teacher induction and their ongoing professional learning.
Measures to be put in place to cut down amount of construction and demolition waste collected at Household Waste Recycling Centres. The Highland Council will be putting measures in place to restrict the amount of construction and demolition waste bought to its network of 21 Household Waste Recycling Centres.
Highland Council today (15 August 2019) launched a consultation on a potential Highland Transient Visitor Levy. The Council has not yet made a decision on whether to implement a Transient Visitor Levy (TVL), also known as a Tourist Tax.
The Highland Council is warning the public of the presence of an algal bloom at Loch Watten, Caithness, following an examination of sample water on Monday (12/08/19). As a precautionary measure, environmental health have posted notices next to the water body, warning that contact with the algal scum or material should be avoided.
An officer in the Highland Council's Trading Standards team has won a UK award for her work on anti-counterfeiting and protecting consumers. Lynn Foster was presented with the Dave Hankinson Memorial Award for Individual Excellence by Phil Lewis, Director General of the Anti-Counterfeiting Group (ACG).
[Printer Friendly Version]