The investment of over £54 million was announced by First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, and will go towards improving access to psychological therapies for all ages including for children and adolescents' mental health services.
Commenting on the announcement, Mark McDonald said:
“The Scottish Government continues to invest to deliver on its priority to provide the best mental health services. The funds, over the next four years, will go towards treating an additional 10,000 patients in the first year, rising to 20,000 by 2019/20. This is a continuation of the fantastic work already underway by the Scottish Government, including Scotland being the first country in the UK to have mental health waiting times targets.
“As co-convenor of the cross party group on mental health, I work with my colleagues to raise awareness and understanding of mental illness and, to promote the rights of people with mental health problems as well as ensuring that people with mental health problems are represented in the political process.
“I am immensely proud of the continued support the Scottish Government are offering to those affected by mental illness, and I look forward to seeing the positive impact this continued investment will bring to some of the most vulnerable people throughout the North East and the rest of Scotland.”
Mark McDonald is co-convenor of the Scottish Parliament cross party group on mental health. The purpose of the group is to act as a forum for assessing the implications for people with mental health problems and their carers of any relevant proposed legislation which may impact upon them, to raise awareness and understanding of mental illness and mental health and wellbeing, to promote the rights of people with mental health problems and their carers, and help to ensure that the experience and views of these groups inform the political process; and to campaign to reduce the stigma and discrimination experienced by people with mental health problems and work to improve public understanding of mental health issues.
Over four years, the money will be provided to NHS Boards to:
• Improve capacity to see more people more quickly.
• Work with Healthcare Improvement Scotland to redesign local services to be more efficient, effective and sustainable.
• Improve workforce supply and train existing staff to deliver services for children and young people, as well as psychological therapies for all ages.