NEARLY three-quarters of Scots who took their own lives in the last seven years were men, according to new statistics.

The figures, compiled by the Scottish Suicide Information Database, revealed that 73% of the 5826 people living in Scotland who completed suicide between 2011 and 2017 were male, while more than two-thirds were employed, and 47% were aged between 35 and 54.

NHS Health Scotland said the overall pattern showed a need for greater efforts to improve mental health and wellbeing in the workplace Suicide deaths were around three-times more likely among those living in the most deprived areas than among those living in the wealthiest.

The statistics, which were compiled as part of the database’s remit to “support wider research, policy-making and suicide prevention” make for grim reading.

Around 30% of those who died from suicide had attended A&E in the three months before their death, and 290 of those people died within two days of leaving the hospital, while another 270 died later that week.

Most of those who died had attended hospital, had contact with drug services or were prescribed a mental health drug in the community in the year before their deaths.

However, most had no contact with specialised mental health services in the 12 months before they died. Though some 24% were offered a psychiatric outpatient appointment and 13% had been discharged from psychiatric inpatient care.

The report states: “These findings might raise concerns about a possible shortfall between the mental health needs of high risk individuals and the supply of services that meet those needs.”

Rose Fitzpatrick, chair of the Government’s National Suicide Prevention Leadership Group, said: “Every suicide is a tragedy, and suicide prevention is everybody’s business. I welcome this report, which will make a significant contribution to informing the actions we need to take to further prevent deaths by suicide.”

If you have been affected by any of the issues you can contact the Samaritans on 116 123.