I fully recognise that the past year of the coronavirus pandemic has had an immense strain on our mental health.
Therefore, the SNP will remobilise, strengthen and protect our NHS. If re-elected, we will significantly expand community mental health services.
Investment in and reform of mental health services, especially for children and young people, was already a pre-pandemic priority for the SNP. The stress and trauma of Covid-19 has made that support even more necessary and urgent.
The SNP has committed to more than doubling the budget for mental health and autism in the coming financial year in comparison to the 2020/21 budget. This will take the total anticipated spend on mental health in 2021/22 to in excess of £1.2 billion.
Additionally, in response to the mental health impacts of Covid-19, the SNP Government published a Transition and Recovery Plan on 8 October 2020. If re-elected in May, the SNP will continue to deliver on its commitments including:
- Ensuring the implementation of the CAMHS service specification which outlines the provisions that children, young people and their families can expect from mental health services – regardless of where they live;
- introducing community mental health support services for children and young people;
- continuing to extend the Distress Brief Intervention Programme across Scotland, for a transitional period to 2024;
- working with Boards to retain, develop and support Mental Health Assessment Centres which were established at the start of lockdown.
The SNP Government announced investment of £3 million in August 2018 in its three-year Suicide Prevention Action Plan: Every Life Matters. Our work with the National Suicide Prevention Leadership Group to progress the ten actions includes: mental health and suicide prevention training; developing preventative actions targeted at risk groups; the use of digital technology; supporting those bereaved by suicide; and reviewing deaths by suicide.