Improving mental health is a priority for the Scottish Government. 

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 aim to reform children and young people's mental health services, to take a 21st century approach to adult mental health, to respect, protect and fulfil rights, and to make suicide prevention everybody's business.

Actions

We are working to improve mental health by:

We are also:

Background

We launched our Mental Health Strategy 2017-2027 in March 2017, after a consultation exercise, which set out our approach to mental health services in Scotland. In September 2018 we provided our first progress report on the strategy. We produce bi-annual progress reports on the individual actions in the strategy. The Strategy built on the work carried out as a result of the Mental Health Strategy for Scotland 2012-2015

Following the publication of the Programme for Government in September 2018, we published our Mental Health programme for Government delivery plan which set out our approach to the mental health commitments. 

Bills and legislation

The main mental health legislation in Scotland is the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003, as amended by the Mental Health (Scotland) Act 2015.

The 2003 Act applies to people who have a mental illness, personality disorder or learning disability. This is referred to in the Act as "mental disorder". 

The Act sets out:

  • when and how people can be treated if they have a mental disorder
  • when people can be treated or taken into hospital against their will
  • what a person's rights are, and the safeguards which ensure that these rights are protected

It also contains measures around named persons, advance statements and advocacy to enhance service users' rights and to promote service users’ involvement in their treatment.

The 2015 Act made changes to allow service users with a mental disorder to access effective treatment quickly and easily. It also contains measures around named persons, advance statements and advocacy to enhance service users' rights and to promote service users’ involvement in their treatment. It introduces a victim notification scheme for victims of mentally disordered offenders. It also makes some changes to the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995 in relation to mental health disposals in criminal cases.

You can find more background information about the implementation of the Mental Health (Scotland) Act 2015 in our website archive. 

We are currently reviewing mental health legislation and related guidance.

Contact

Email: ceu@gov.scot

Telephone: 0131 244 4006

Post:

Mental Health Directorate
Scottish Government
St Andrew’s House
Regent Road
Edinburgh
EH1 3DG