Scottish Mental Health Strategy

Scotland launch new mental health strategy 2012 – 2015

By Charlotte Fantelli

Scotland strengthens focus on mental health in new government strategy.

36 key commitments have been laid out in the Scottish Government’s new Mental Health Strategy, aiming to improve the mental health and wellbeing of the nation.

Public Health Minister Michael Matheson says mental health is “one of the top public health challenges in Europe” and he is certainly not mistaken, with NICE claiming as many as one in three GP visits has a ‘mental health element’.

The strategy has particular focus on:

  • Suicide prevention and reduction
  • Faster access to talking therapies
  • Faster access to mental health services for young people.

Matheson said: "In Scotland we are proud of what we have already achieved in promoting rights and recovery, addressing stigma and improving outcomes for people who use services and their carers.”

But Matheson agrees more needs to be done and feels the new policy will help improve things for sufferers, their families and carers, and in turn impact the rest of society.

"We must now increase the pace of change and focus on delivering improvements which we believe will have the maximum possible impact across the whole population."

The strategy also has a particular focus on proactivity, empowering people and communities to help support and improve their own health and wellbeing.

Let us hope with more and more focus being put on mental health in writing, that this focus translates to better real world care. The ‘No health without mental health’ strategy for England, looks impressive on paper, but with budget cuts affecting the implementation of the strategy, the real-world results are yet to be seen for many.

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