Scotland’s Secret Shame

by Courtney C Horne @FireezDragon

Scotland has a suicide problem. A bad one. It is discussed here and when I read it I thought about how important suicide hotlines are to reducing suicides. In the US, there is a hotline available 24-7 for people who may be a danger to themselves 1-800-273-TALK (8255). I worked on a crisis hotline and they are a great resource for helping to reduce suicides and a key to their effectiveness is making sure people know they are there and ready to help.

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More people in Scotland die by suicide than in car accidents.

Just spend a minute with that.

Four times as many people – men and women just like you and me, our families, our friends – take their own lives than die in road accidents. Two people a day. Imagine if two people in Scotland were shot every day. There would be public hysteria! Voices calling for a stop to these pointless deaths. A government inquiry.

This is 2012. We have come on leaps and bounds in treating cancer in all its forms; people can live for decades with HIV. We have seen significant public health campaigns on smoking, drinking, exercise, diet. So why, in 2012, does despair and sadness and hopelessness pervade our society so completely that we are losing two people a day to suicide? And why aren’t we talking about it?

I think part of it is…

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