Date lodged: 8 May 2018
To ask the Scottish Government what its response is to reports that, in order to signpost vulnerable people to assistance, suicide prevention organisations are charged premium advertising rates by search engines.
Answered by: Maureen Watt 22 May 2018
Decisions taken by private businesses to charge organisations for advertising are a matter for them and their customers rather than being something within Scottish Government control.
Whilst not a search engine, Mygov does provide links to support for mental health issues, including NHS Inform and the Scottish Association for Mental Health, on the following page:- https://www.mygov.scot/financial-support-mental-illness/
Suicide prevention is a top priority for this government. In our engagement process which ended on April 30, we acknowledged the importance of promoting suicide prevention through multiple approaches. One of the proposed aims in the draft suicide prevention action plan is developing the use of social media and online resources. A good example of an existing online resource for suicide prevention is the local Choose Life North East Suicide Prevention App.
Scottish Government is aware that organisations such as “Google for Non-profits” can offer UK charities access to discounted or free products.