Scots are being urged to look out for vulnerable people after referrals for support increased in the past six months.
With National Adult Support and Protection Day falling on Sunday, the Scottish Government said that referrals to adult support and protection teams have risen from 750 per week to 780 on average in the past six months.
Around one in seven referrals result in an investigation, but others can mean other actions are taken to maintain wellbeing.
“We can all think of someone we know who we worry about sometimes, such as a friend, family member or neighbour,” said Mental Health Minister Kevin Stewart.
“During the pandemic, social workers have been going above and beyond to make sure that reports of concerns about adults who are vulnerable have been followed up.
“We know adults are most commonly at risk of physical harm or financial exploitation, but adult protection can include everything from sexual harm to psychological harm; self-harm to neglect or self-neglect – when people struggle to take care of themselves.
“Making an adult protection referral can help ensure serious situations are investigated, or can just trigger a bit of attention and help for those who need it.”
John Paterson, chairman of the National Adult Support and Protection Scotland Independent Convenors’ Group, said: “As we are emerging from the pandemic, we are mindful of the crucial role our communities play in safeguarding.
“Just like with the protection of children, adult support and protection is important every day of the year and we want to ensure that the right supports are in place to protect people who are unable to keep themselves, their money, or their belongings safe.
“An adult protection referral can also be a good sign that someone needs a bit of support to stay safe, and can stop things getting worse.
“If something doesn’t seem right, you can help by making an adult protection referral. We can only act on concerns that are known about.”