A Partnership of 17 of Scotland’s leading mental health organisations has written to every Scottish political party leader to call for a radical shake up to meet the mental health needs of all Scots.
The letter from Scotland’s Mental Health Partnership highlights that “these exceptional circumstances exacerbated pre-existing fault lines” in supporting people with poor mental health and mental ill health.
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It calls on all parties to adopt the sweeping changes the Partnership is calling for in its Manifesto within the first 100 days of the next Scottish government. They include:
Implementing a substantial increase to mental health funding
Delivering a National Transitions Strategy for our most vulnerable young people
Creating a cross-government mission to prevent poor mental health
The Partnership’s focus on the first 100 days reflects the need for radical change now, as the impacts of the pandemic emerge.
The Partnership also proposes a new way of thinking about how we ensure stigma and discrimination is challenged and that better mental health and wellbeing can be delivered for all, focused on:
Promoting good mental health and wellbeing for the whole population;
Preventing poor mental health in the groups and populations at highest risk; and
Providing a full range of support options for those with severe mental ill health and distress.
The Chair of Scotland’s Mental Health Partnership, Lee Knifton, said:
“Scotland’s Mental Health Partnership brings together seventeen of Scotland leading professional bodies and voluntary organisations working in mental health. We work every day with and on behalf of those with poor mental health and mental ill health, and our radical proposals for change are driven by their input and their needs.
We know the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic have hit everyone hard, including their mental health and wellbeing. That is why we believe the time is now to set a new and ambitions vision, of a Scotland where good mental health and wellbeing is enjoyed by all. We also believe the work needs to start now, and have set all the political parties 100 days to achieve change.
We believe the policies advocated in our manifesto, backed by the range of our membership, can and would bring such a vision to reality.”