Scottish Labour to unveil plans for mental health workers at every GP practice

Scottish Labour is unveiling plans for “life-saving” mental health workers in every GP practice as part of a recovery plan for Scotland’s NHS.

Scottish Labour is unveiling plans for “life-saving” mental health workers in every GP practice as part of a recovery plan for Scotland’s NHS.
Scottish Labour is unveiling plans for “life-saving” mental health workers in every GP practice as part of a recovery plan for Scotland’s NHS.

Party leader Anas Sarwar is set to reveal the policy on Monday – as part of a national recovery plan for the NHS which will be published at the party’s campaign launch.

The move follows calls from the Royal College of General Practitioners for the Scottish Government to commit to transforming mental health with more focus on the use of mental health clinicians in primary care teams.

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Mr Sarwar said: “We can’t come through the collective trauma of Covid and go back to a system which fails people in need of lifesaving mental health support.

“This election must be about delivering a national recovery plan that at its heart is about restoring our NHS. I am putting improving access to mental health treatment front and centre of our plan – and it starts by putting vital mental health support workers in every GP clinic in Scotland.”

A recent study by the Mental Health Foundation found 13 per cent experienced distressing emotions last month — up from 10 per cent during the first lockdown last April. It also identified a rise in those suffering loneliness and feelings of hopelessness in the past year.

Scottish Labour has previously revealed that nearly 25,000 calls to Scotland’s mental health crisis support line went unanswered during the course of the pandemic.

A Freedom of Information request revealed that 133 calls went unanswered in March of last year, but in January the number was 5,452. Over the course of the pandemic, figures show 24,947 calls have gone unanswered.

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