Mental health staffing boost

More than 950 additional frontline workers recruited.

A commitment to recruit an additional 800 mental health staff to frontline roles across Scotland has been exceeded. 

Figures published today show that 958 whole time equivalent mental health workers have been recruited for deployment to hospitals, GP practices, police station custody suites and prisons. This exceeds the target of 800 set in the Scottish Government’s Mental Health Strategy 2017-27.

The staff will ensure people have access to appropriate mental health care in a variety of settings, recognising the life-changing benefits of fast, effective treatment.

Mental Wellbeing Minister Kevin Stewart said:

“Improving mental health is a priority for the Scottish Government and these figures show how seriously we are taking this. I am pleased that we have exceeded our commitment and recruited almost 1,000 additional mental health professionals across these key settings.

“Mental illness is one of the major public health challenges in Scotland. Around one-in-three people are estimated to be affected by mental illness in any one year. We want a Scotland where we act on the knowledge that failing to recognise, prioritise and treat mental health problems costs not only our economy, but also harms individuals and communities.

“We have allocated nearly £84 million to enable recruitment to these posts and this has been achieved in spite of the unprecedented impacts of the pandemic on our health and social care services.”


The Mental Health Strategy 2017-27

Mental health workers: quarterly performance reports - (


Media enquiries

Back to top