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Creating Hope Together with peer support

Scottish Recovery Network welcomes the new Suicide Prevention Strategy and the commitment to invest in community-based peer support.

The Scottish Government and COSLA Strategy and Action Plan – – recognises the valuable contribution of peer support in our communities.

The 10-year Strategy takes a fresh approach to tackling the factors and inequalities that can lead to suicide. The strategy will work across national and local government. It will address the underlying social issues including poverty, debt and addiction, that can cause people to feel suicidal.

Community-based peer support has an important role to play in addressing these issues and providing support to those in distress. It can contribute to making sure people receive help at the earliest opportunity. It can ensure the right support is there for people and their families at the right time. In a recent interview with Clyde 1 Radio, Alice McInally from Chris’s House told us about the difference she hopes the new strategy will make:

That Peer Workers will be recognised as a formal type of support. That we will recognise that people with lived experience of poor mental health and living with suicide or loss to suicide should be more valued.

Space, compassion and hope

Peer support provides space, compassion and hope for people in crisis and also for those affected by suicide. Connecting with others with similar experiences provides a place where people can share, be listened to and heard. It helps people to see that they are not alone. This mutual sharing is powerful in that we can be supported while also supporting others on their journey.

The Scottish Government will fund the Scottish Recovery Network as part of the initial three-year action plan. This will boost community peer-support groups across the country. On the announcement of the funding, Scottish Recovery Network Director, Louise Christie said:

Scottish Recovery Network are privileged to work with people, groups, services and organisations to develop and sustain peer support. We know that there is fantastic work going on in communities across Scotland. This increased recognition and investment means that peer support will help more people. It will be made available in more communities of place, interest and experience. We look forward to being part of making this happen over the next few years.

A new approach to suicide prevention

Launching the ‘Creating Hope Together: Scotland’s Suicide Prevention Strategy 2022-2032’, Mental Wellbeing Minister Kevin Stewart said:

Every death by suicide is a tragedy and, while the number of deaths have fallen in recent years, I want to use every lever at our disposal to drive that down further.

That’s why we are taking a new approach to suicide prevention – considering all the social issues that can lead people to feel suicidal, while supporting those contemplating suicide and their loved ones.

Peer support is an effective way to support people in their communities, helping them to feel heard and understood.  I’m pleased this strategy will provide funding for the Scottish Recovery Network to continue its vital work for people experiencing – and recovering from – mental health issues.

Get involved

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