‘Stress and pressure’ contributing to rise in youth suicide rate in Scotland, says local support group

By Heather Miller


The coordinator of Edinburgh Nightline has told EN4 News that “stress and pressure” has contributed towards a rise in suicide rates of young people across Scotland.

Suicide prevention is the theme for World Mental Health Day, which is being celebrated across the world today.

According to Samaratans, the rate of deaths by suicide among under 25s in the UK increased by 23.7% last year, reaching 730 deaths in 2018. NHS Scotland statistics also show that the suicide rate for young people has increased in the past five years.

Edinburgh Nightline is a confidential support service, run by students for students. Olivia Fahy, who is the coordinator of Edinburgh Nightline, said young people are under more pressure than ever before, and that it has contributed to the rise.

“I think it is due to a lot of reasons” Fahy said. “There is a lot of pressure about what you are going to do with your future, more than ever so before.

“I think it is so important to have these conversations and to get as many people working together to reduce those statistics as much as possible. If you are worried about a friend or concerned it is so much better to have the awkward conversation. Just talking and being open and having someone you can always go to if things are getting tough.”

World Mental Health Day: The Pill and our Mental Health 

Mental Health from Rural Perspective 

World Mental Health Day celebrates the objective to raise awareness of mental health issues globally, it allows an opportunity for everyone to be educated and understand the issues of mental health. It was first celebrated by the World Federation of Mental Health in 1992 and has been commemorated each year since on October 10th.

Mental health issues are the largest cause of disability within the United Kingdom, anyone across the globe can be affected at any given moment in their lives.

“I think days like today are really important because it’s about breaking down the stigma and having a visual awareness of mental health, and that it is completely okay to not be okay all of the time,” Fahy said.

“It’s about opening up conversations, just about the day to day wellbeing. It doesn’t have to be a big revelation, just having conversations with your friends and staff about how you are feeling.”

Gordon Ruddiman recounted an experience he had with a client while working as a community worker in Fife.


If you or someone you know needs help, FAMS can be contacted on 07736 326 062, while the Samaritans can be reached on 116 123 or at jo@samaritans.org.

If you or someone you know would like to talk to someone, please call Edinburgh Nightline on 0131 557 4444.

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