Supporting Scotland’s mental health recovery

Addressing the psychological impact of the pandemic.

A new plan will help ensure mental health and wellbeing remains at the heart of the Scottish Government’s response to coronavirus (COVID-19).

Children and young people, those facing redundancy, and people with long-term physical health conditions and disabilities are among key groups the plan focuses on.

It builds on innovations and new service designs that have emerged in response to the pandemic, such as the ‘Clear Your Head’ campaign, the expansion of digital services and the establishment of Mental Health Assessment Centres.

As well as promoting good mental health and wellbeing, the plan prioritises rapid and easily accessible support for those in distress and ensures safe, effective treatment and care of people living with mental illness. A tailored programme of work will help individual NHS Boards respond effectively to the anticipated increase in demand in the months ahead.

Announcing the plan to parliament, Mental Health Minister Clare Haughey said:

“If the past few weeks have told us anything, it is that the road to recovery from this pandemic will not be linear. However, one thing that has remained constant is the importance of looking after ourselves, and of keeping well.

“I doubt there is a single one of us who hasn’t thought about our mental wellbeing, or worried about that of others, at some point during 2020.

“Throughout this year, mental health has continued to be an absolute priority for this government, and we’ve invested £6 million of dedicated funding to support the whole population.

“Our Transition and Recovery Plan for Mental Health reflects how fundamental this issue is. It is comprehensive, containing over a hundred actions, and focusses on the specific mental health needs of everyone across Scotland.”

Director of Scotland and Northern Ireland at the Mental Health Foundation, Lee Knifton, commented:

“We are pleased to see the Scottish Government embark on a mental health in all policies agenda and to have played a role in shaping this plan. We have consistently advocated for all policies approach and today’s plan feels like a breakthrough moment. Mental health is much more than mental illness, it must be considered in our schools, workplaces, our welfare system and our justice system. This plan is an important step in that direction.  

“It is encouraging to see that the Scottish Government has taken our recommendations on board and we look forward to working in partnership to implement the commitments laid out. This ambitious plan will need investment to achieve maximum impact, but any investment in mental health will realise social, health and economic benefits down the line.” 


Mental Health – Scotland’s Transition and Recovery is available on the Scottish Government's website. contains a variety of resources and tips to help people take care of their mental health and wellbeing.

For those who need more support the Scottish Government has expanded the NHS24 Mental Health Hub so that it is now available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and increased the capacity of the Breathing Space telephone helpline (0800 83 85 87) and web support service.

The Mental Health Foundation’s vision is good mental health for all. The Foundation works to prevent mental health problems and drive change towards a mentally healthy society for all, and support communities, families and individuals to lead mentally healthy lives with a particular focus on those at greatest risk. The Foundation is the home of Mental Health Awareness Week


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