Suicide rates in Scotland are far higher than in the rest of the UK, according to the Office for National Statistics.
The suicide rate for men in Scotland was 50 per cent higher than for the UK as a whole from 1991 to 2004, figures published yesterday showed. And the suicide rate for Scottish women in the same period was almost double that of the UK.
However, a Scottish executive spokesperson said the number of suicides in Scotland in 2005 was the lowest reported since 1991.
She said the executive had set up its Choose Life suicide prevention strategy in 2002 because it had “known for some time” that Scotland had the highest suicide rates in the UK.
Linda Dunion, campaign director of See Me, which aims to reduce stigma surrounding mental illness in Scotland, said: “It takes a long time to change attitudes.”
The ONS report also highlighted a 15 per cent fall in unexplained infant deaths in England and Wales from 2004 to 2005.
The rate of all infant deaths stayed at five per 1,000 live births, the lowest on record.