SOMBRE new statistics show suicides in Inverclyde more than doubled last year.

Alarming figures published by Public Health Scotland (PHS) reveal that 16 deaths by suicide were recorded in 2019 - nine more than the previous year.

Greenock born MSP Jamie Greene has expressed concerns about the rise in the local figures.

The Conservative says he believes more resources should be given to vital local mental health services to ensure those seeking treatment are seen as soon as possible.

Mr Greene said: "Every suicide is a tragedy and leaves behind a grieving family.

"There has been an alarming rise in the number of suicides in Inverclyde.

"This has to be addressed as a matter of urgency.

"Local mental health services, which can be critical in suicide prevention, need more resources to deal with this rise.

"Those experiencing mental health issues have to get fast access to treatment, which isn’t happening at the moment.

"But the causes go deeper than that, as there is a known link between deprivation and suicide, with suicide rates in deprived areas up to three times higher than the least deprived areas."

Mr Greene highlighted a number of agencies working in the area to help vulnerable people.

He said: "There are a range of organisations which can also help people during their most challenging times, including Man On Inverclyde, Inverclyde Association for Mental Health and The Samaritans and my thanks go to them for the vital life-saving work they do."

Across Scotland, there were 833 suicides registered in 2019 - an increase from 784 the previous year.

The highest rate of suicide in Scotland occurred between the ages of 45 to 54 and overall, the number of males who died by suicide was almost three times higher then females.

For more information on suicide prevention, visit the Scottish Government's Suicide Prevention Action plan at

The Samaritans can offer 24/7 support on freephone 116123.