Mental health progress

Quarter of Mental Health Strategy actions complete in first 18 months.

More support for young people, a national programme for new mothers and next-day help for more than 1,000 people in distress demonstrate some of the progress that has been made under Scotland’s national strategy for mental health.

The first progress report of the Scottish Government’s 10-year Mental Health Strategy, published in March 2017, outlines that 13 of the strategy’s 40 actions are either complete or nearly complete, and another 26 are underway.

Key achievements include:

  • new arrangements to help young people moving to adult mental health services, which have been created by young people, and a digital tool to support young people with eating disorders
  • a national network to develop help for the 11,000 women a year who experience mental health problems during and after pregnancy
  • a pilot of the Distress Brief Intervention (DBI) programme in four areas, with more than 1,000 people already being helped.

Alongside the strategy, the Scottish Government’s Programme for Government 2018/19 commits £250 million of new funding to support a wide range of mental health actions. The government has also set up a taskforce to review children and adolescents’ mental health services, created a youth commission, launched a national conversation with young people about mental health, and published a new Suicide Prevention Action Plan.

Mental Health Minister Clare Haughey said:

“Scotland’s 10-year Mental Health Strategy paints a clear and aspiring picture of a Scotland where people get the right help at the right time, free from stigma, and where we treat mental health with the same commitment as we do physical health. I am very proud of the achievements and progress in its first 18 months.

“However, there is still much to do. People now understand mental health better and are more open and willing to seek help. We must ensure our services reflect these changing needs and demands. We will do this through our strategy, other significant steps we are taking, and the quarter of a billion pounds of new money we will invest over the next five years.”

Dr John Crichton, Chair of the Royal College of Psychiatrists in Scotland, said:

“We are pleased to see the Scottish Government valuing mental health with the same energy and commitment as physical health, as shown by recent announcements in the Programme for Government. Today’s report shows some progress has been made towards fulfilling actions and ambitions in the Mental Health Strategy 2017-2027. However, there is still more work to be done to ensure the people of Scotland can get the right care, in the right place, at the right time, and from the right professional.”


Mental Health Strategy: 2017-20271st Progress Report is attached to this release as a PDF.

Mental Health Strategy 2017-2027

The one action in the plan that is yet to commence is a progress review of the plan in 2022.

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