A YOUTH advisory group, supported by the University of Stirling, is being launched to improve suicide prevention policy.

The group has been established by Scotland’s National Suicide Prevention Leadership Group (NSPLG) and will focus on the perspective of those with lived experience of being affected by a suicide.

National charity Children in Scotland is partnering with the Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Professionals Research Unit (NMAHP-RU) at the University of Stirling to recruit, host and manage the group.

They will assemble a panel of 12 young people aged 16 to 25 who will meet regularly for an initial period of 11 months to gather and share views to inform future policy.

Dr Lynne Gilmour, research fellow in the NMAHP-RU, is co-principal investigator on the group.

She said: "Suicide is a leading cause of death in children and we are determined to ensure that the voices of young people are heard as part of the Suicide Prevention Action Plan.

“Listening to young people is vitally important to ensure that the objectives of the plan are meaningful and helpful to children and young people who may need to access help and support for suicidal thoughts and or behaviours.”

The launch of the youth advisory group follows the successful establishment of an adult lived experience panel set up in 2018-19 to inform the development of NSPLG’s action plan.

Recognised by the World Health Organisation as an example of best practice, NSPLG is hopeful that the youth advisory group is the credible next step to listening to, understanding and responding to those with lived experience, and also a critical move in helping to address the escalating rates of youth suicide in Scotland.