On 30 March the Scottish Government published its new ten-year Mental Health Strategy.
The strategy has at its heart a commitment to spend £300 million on mental health support in the next five years and includes actions to:
- increase the workforce
- review counseling and guidance services in schools
- establish bi-annual expert forums to help guide implementation, and
- review legislation.
Minister for Mental Health Maureen Watt said the ambition was for mental and physical illness to achieve “parity of esteem” in the way they are treated.
Children in Scotland welcomed the intentions of the strategy but warned that children and young people's voices must be central in its implementation.
Our Head of Policy Amy Woodhouse said:
“We welcome the strategy’s publication and are particularly encouraged to see its emphasis on early intervention and prevention, and the need for coordination around children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing.
“These are fundamental areas of mental health policy about which Children in Scotland has been calling for recognition and progress.
“We are also heartened by the strategy’s accent on understanding the social determinants of mental health and the need to address poverty and inequality.
“However, while it is clear that the right intentions are in place, we feel that a vision for a mentally healthy Scotland foregrounding children and young people could have been more powerfully articulated."