Scottish Government pledge £10m extra for mental health care

Maureen Watt, Minister for Mental Health, is seeking early treatment. Picture: Neil Hanna

Maureen Watt, Minister for Mental Health, is seeking early treatment. Picture: Neil Hanna

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The Scottish Government yesterday said an additional £10 million will be invested to fund new ways of supporting mental health patients in primary care.

The funding, confirmed in last week’s draft Budget statement, is part of the Scottish Government’s efforts to improve early intervention and put more focus on preventing mental health issues developing.

More focus will be put on improving the physical health of people with severe and enduring mental illness.

There will be improved support in rural areas and places with high social deprivation.

The Lib Dems have been calling for a “step change” in the way Scotland deals with mental health. GP link workers will play a key role, helping to direct people to community resources such as peer support, and helping them manage their own conditions.

The Scottish Government said spending on mental health services in Scotland will break the £1 billion mark for the first time next year, meaning an increase in spending of at least £85.7 million on last year – an 8.9 per cent rise.

Maureen Watt, minister for mental health, said: “We want to greatly improve early intervention so that we can give people timely treatment before more serious problems develop. To do that there needs to be a strong mental health response in primary care settings, and that’s what this £10m programme will help us to do.

“By testing innovative approaches we can see what works and potentially roll these out more widely.”

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