Scotland’s leading mental health organisations have welcomed the publication of the Scottish Government’s new Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy.
But Scotland’s Mental Health Partnership (SMHP) has cautioned that a robust, detailed and fully resourced Delivery Plan and an effective Workforce Strategy will be required to ensure that the ambitions of the Strategy can be realised.
Lee Knifton, Chair of Scotland’s Mental Health Partnership, said: “We welcome the ambitious vision of the Strategy and are especially pleased to see the adoption of the Promote, Prevent, Provide framework, which we developed and published last year.
“We are also pleased to see commitments to tackle stigma and to develop mental health promotion and prevention activities in addition to enhancing the provision of high quality mental health services.
“To deliver the Strategy’s vision will require both cross government action and partnerships with the wider public and third sectors. We are now extremely keen to engage with Government in discussions on developing comprehensive plans to implement the Strategy.
”As well as action to improve the mental health and wellbeing of the population as a whole, we want to see measurable steps to improve the lives of people with more complex and enduring mental illness.”
It is anticipated that consultation on a detailed Delivery Plan will take place over the summer. The Partnership will be working to ensure that clear and specific actions, measurable targets and a governance structure to review progress made are included.
At a time when public funding is under increasing pressure, the Partnership will also be reminding government of its commitments to increase spend on mental health to 10% of the total NHS spend and to commit 25% more resources to mental health during the lifetime of this parliament.
A Workforce Strategy will be produced in the autumn of 2023. The Partnership stresses that recruiting and retaining sufficient numbers of high quality staff across mental health services and supports in both public and third sectors is vital. With increased demand being reported by GPs, third sector organisations and specialist services, an expansion of the workforce is now required.
“The Strategy offers hope of improved mental health and wellbeing for people in Scotland,” said Lee Knifton. “We are committed to working together with government and other partners to ensure that the ambition of its vision can become reality.”