Our Partnership has developed a manifesto for candidates in May's local authority elections
Scotland's Mental Health Partnership has sought to provide the candidates in May's local authority elections a potential blueprint for how their local areas can help better the mental health and wellbeing of their constituents. This comes a year on from our Manifesto ahead of last year's Scottish Parliament elections in which we called for all parties to adopt our Promote, Prevent, Provide focus.
Partnership analysis suggests that, based on responses from 26 of the health and social care integration authorities which local authorities co-run, they play a role in managing nearly 20% of mental health funding. This makes local authorities, and the councillors elected to them, a critical actor in achieving a Scotland where good mental health and wellbeing is enjoyed by all
In order to deliver this, we're proposing candidates consider a range of potential policies their areas can deliver, including:
Mental health in all policies – We believe that action must be taken towards tackling both inequalities in society and the wider social determinants of mental health. This clearly goes beyond the remit of health and we therefore call for local authorities to adopt a ‘mental health in all policies’ approach, ideally supported through a national mental health impact assessment.
Stability for our communities – A critical issue facing our third and community sectors is the inability to establish themselves as long-term providers of care and support in our communities. We therefore call on all local authorities to commit, where feasible, to longer term funding for those organisations who provide essential mental health support and care.
Children and young people – We also call for further action to enable schools to act as fully effective points of promotion, prevention and early intervention, with schools serving the most deprived areas receiving additional dedicated provision and early intervention supports.