The Scottish Public Health Observatory - Suicide Overview

These files present information on probable suicides registered in Scotland including breakdowns by NHS Board, Local Authority and Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD) decile. For the NHS Board and Local Authority data the period covered is calendar years 2011-19. For the SIMD data the periods covered are 2005-09 and 2015-19.

All publications and supporting material to this topic area can be found on the PHS - Mental Health Website. The date of the next release can be found on our list of forthcoming publications.

Please note: this publication has been cancelled due to pressures related to COVID-19. Information on COVID-19 and the production of statistics can be found on the Data and intelligence website, with details on cancelled and rescheduled publications available in our list of forthcoming publications.

Data and Resources

Additional Info

Field Value
Source NRS death registration records and mid-year population estimates
Author PHS Mental Health Team
Version 1.0
Last Updated November 24, 2020, 09:56 (GMT)
Created April 2, 2020, 17:14 (BST)
Contact Address PHS Mental Health Team, Public Health Scotland, Gyle Square, 1 South Gyle Crescent, Edinburgh, EH12 9EB
Subject Public Health
Frequency Annual
Time frame of data and timeliness Data based on 2011-19 finalised death registrations. The most recent (2019 calendar year) finalised registrations were released by National Records of Scotland (NRS) in November 2020.
Coverage Finalised NRS death records of all probable suicides registered in Scotland 2011-19 by NHS Board, Local Authority and Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation decile. The figures shown are for deaths occurring in, and registered in, Scotland. They will include a small proportion of deaths for persons who were not resident in Scotland, and exclude deaths of residents of Scotland occurring outwith Scotland. The data are analysed by year of registration rather than year of death.
Completeness The quality and completeness of the deaths data are discussed in
Accuracy Quality checks are conducted by PHS. Figures are compared to previously published data and expected trends.
Continuity of data In 2011, NRS made a change to the way deaths are classified, to match changes in World Health Organization coding rules. The new coding rules resulted in some drug misuse deaths previously coded under 'mental and behavioural disorders' being classified as 'self-poisoning of undetermined intent' and therefore included as ‘probable suicides’. To ensure consistency across the data, only those undetermined intent deaths classified using the new coding criteria are included.
Concepts and definitions The definition of a probable suicide for ScotPHO is based on the NRS classification of deaths due to intentional self-harm or undetermined intent based on new coding rules (further details under Continuity of data above). Full details on changes to the coding of causes of death between 2010 and 2011 can be found on the NRS website -
Disclosure The PHS protocol on Statistical Disclosure Protocol is followed - The likelihood and impact of disclosure were assessed as medium risk for both.
Revision statement No changes/improvements have been made to this Open Data, compared to previous ScotPHO Suicide Overview publications.
Official statistics designation National Statistics
Relevance and key uses of the statistics ScotPHO aims to provide the public health community with easy access to clear and relevant information and statistics on suicide, to support decision-making and measure progress towards the suicide reduction target.
Format csv
Language English


Mental Health

NRS Probable Suicides

comments powered by Disqus