The Samaritans is working with the Scottish Government, after it was announced they wanted to reduce the suicide rate by 20% in the next three years.

But boss James Jopling argues a better understanding is needed of why men, particularly those in middle age, are more likely to take their own lives than others.

Jopling, the executive director for Samaritans Scotland, said: "We need far more understanding into the complex factors that contribute to suicide.

"Our work points to a number of possible reasons for why men have an increased risk of suicide, from ideas around masculinity that prize power, control and invincibility, a lack of supportive peer relationships and barriers to men asking for and accessing help.

"We also know socio-economic factors play a role – men from the lowest social class, living in the most deprived areas, are up to 10 times more likely to end their lives by suicide than those in the highest social class from the most affluent areas.

"While the underlying factors are complex, we believe every death by suicide is preventable. As a member of Scotland’s National Suicide Prevention Leadership Group with a target of reducing deaths by suicide by 20% by 2022, we are working with Scottish Government, NHS and others to make meaningful change towards a culture where all men can ask for and access support, how and when they need it.

"This includes improved training so health professionals can better recognise and respond to distress in men and the need for more innovative approaches to supporting men who are struggling to cope."