2 Modernising the content and accessibility of training
Training has emerged as a key factor in all our work to date on developing a draft suicide prevention action plan. It is widely accepted that there should be parity of esteem between physical and mental health – this applies to training too. We want mental health / suicide prevention training to be on a par with physical health training.
The "Views from people affected by suicide" report recommended mandatory suicide prevention training for specific professional groups, particularly GPs  . Additional groups recommended for mandatory training included GP receptionists and NHS24 staff, prison officers, job centre staff and social security entitlement advisors, teachers and school staff, university/college staff and lecturers and transport workers.
Our analysis shows that a range of training approaches are required, ranging from awareness-raising to skilled intervention, depending on the population group being trained.
The Mental Health Training programme has been led by NHS Health Scotland since its inception in 2004, while the suicide prevention training programme was inherited by NHS Health Scotland from Scottish Government in 2007. Information from NHS Health Scotland indicates that a total of 92,521 people have been trained in either mental health or suicide prevention across Scotland and 2,051 trainers trained to provide the courses. This is a great achievement when compared to other national training programmes.
In discussion with a number of stakeholders, including national agencies such as NHS Health Scotland, we found that there is a strong sense that current training materials in mental health first aid and the various suicide prevention training programmes available in Scotland, are in need of a refresh. There is a need to adapt the training material for more flexible, sustainable delivery, to update its content and to make it more relevant and accessible for a Scottish audience.
We will commission NHS Health Scotland to lead on the development of a new, world-leading, comprehensive mental health and suicide prevention training programme to replace and modernise the current suite of training programmes. We will work to create a culture where mental health and suicide prevention training is universally delivered with the same commitment as physical health emergency training across a wide range of services and organisations.
2a) Do you agree that we should develop a new mental health and suicide prevention training programme? (Tick one only)
2b) Please explain your answer.
2c) To what extent do you agree that there should be mandatory suicide prevention training for specific professional groups? (Tick one only)
Neither agree nor disagree
2d) Please explain your answer.
2e) Please provide any additional comments or suggestions about modernising the content and/or accessibility of training on mental health and suicide prevention.