Improving mental health and wellbeing

New strategy for Scotland.

A new strategy to improve the mental health and wellbeing of people across Scotland has been published.

The Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy, published in partnership with the Scottish Government and the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA), is built around three pillars of “Promote, Prevent, Provide”:

  • promoting positive mental health and wellbeing
  • preventing mental health issues occurring or escalating while tackling underlying causes
  • providing mental health and wellbeing support and care.

The strategy reflects views from more than 18 months of consultation, with a particular focus on the voices of lived experience and the role of inequalities. It details the standard of help people can expect, and outlines that it should be available locally where possible. It also recognises that specialist services are a crucial part of a high-functioning mental health system.

Social determinants and underlying causes of poor mental health have shaped the new approach, with a renewed focus on prevention and early intervention.

Mental Wellbeing Minister Maree Todd said:

“Mental health does not just mean mental illness. It is important that we all maintain good mental wellbeing, and that we recognise there are many underlying social determinants, circumstances and inequalities that can affect people’s mental health.

“To deliver the ambitions of this strategy, and to create real and lasting change, we will need collaboration from a wide range of partners across Scotland including health boards, integration joint boards health and social care partnerships, as well as the third sector.

“This strategy has equalities at its heart. We have set out the outcomes we want to achieve so that we can be held to account for our progress and to show how this strategy is making a real difference to people’s lives. The accompanying Delivery Plan and Workforce Action Plan will be published in the autumn and will detail the work we will take forward to achieve those outcomes.”

Councillor Paul Kelly, Health and Social Care spokesperson for COSLA, said:

“This strategy sets out an ambitious vision to improve the mental health and wellbeing of everyone in Scotland. Through the strategy and the associated delivery plan we seek to bring real change, ensuring for example, that our communities are equipped to support people’s mental health and wellbeing and  that there is  increased availability of timely and effective care, support and treatment.  

“We know that working collectively presents the best opportunity to achieve these goals and bring lasting change. We are committed to working in partnership across spheres of government, with those with lived experience, those who deliver services, and our valued  partners and stakeholders, to realise this vision together.” 

Gordon Johnston, Chair of Voices of Experience (VOX Scotland), said:
“We welcome the new strategy and we are particularly heartened by the meaningful involvement of our members and people with lived experience of mental health conditions throughout the development of this. It is positive to see the strategy outline outcomes and priorities which reflect our members’ feedback and needs regarding timely and effective support, better informed policy shaped by people with lived experience, greater community resources and the expansion and improvement of services for those in distress and crisis. We also look forward to the publication of the delivery plan and continuing to work with the Scottish Government on the implementation of the new strategy.”


Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy


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