One in four of us will experience a mental health problem, which can have a profound impact on every aspect of our life. While we’ve made great strides in improving mental health care in recent years, as the stigma of mental health reduces, demand rises.
That’s why we are committed to doing everything we can to transform the support available for people facing mental health issues.
Maureen Watt is MSP for Aberdeenshire South & North Kincardine and Minister for Mental Health
Here’s just seven ways we’re fulfilling this commitment.
1. We will publish a new ten-year mental health strategy by the end of 2016, rooted in the ‘Ask once, get help fast’ approach. This will ensure people get help at the first time of asking and within a clear timescale.
2. Since the SNP came to office, mental health funding has increased by almost 40 per cent. And we’ll invest an additional £150 million in improving performance and innovation over the next Parliament.
3. We have appointed the first and only dedicated Mental Health Minister in the UK, reflecting the priority we place on improving mental health services.
4. The number of Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) psychology posts has doubled since 2006. Overall, the CAMHS workforce has increased by 50 per cent over the past decade.
5. Over this Parliament we will recruit 250 community link workers to work in GP surgeries, with some focus on mental wellbeing.
6. With new powers over employment programmes and disability benefits, we will develop a social security system that better takes account of mental health conditions and treats people with dignity and respect.
7. A new dementia strategy will explore the relocation of services into primary care to make them more accessible. And, we’ll carry out a study to look at expanding it to people with dementia who are under 65.