Core mental health standards: easy read summary

Easy read summary of the core mental health standards. Supporting adult secondary services with the aim of improving quality and safety of mental health services for people in Scotland.

Mental Health Quality Standards - Easy Read version


To make mental health services and care better, the Scottish Government has made a new set of mental health standards. These standards set out what all mental health services should be like.

The standards are part of our plan to make Scotland a place where everyone is treated with equal respect. Everyone should have access to the best mental health and wellbeing.

The standards will mean everyone gets safer care, treatment, and support. We will work with people who use and deliver mental health services to make them better.

The standards include what is important to people who use and work in mental health services.

Pressures on Services

The mental health of our staff plays an important part in promoting mental wellbeing. Our staff support clients with different mental health conditions.

There is a growing number of people who need mental health services. This is increasing the demand on staff working in mental health services and this can impact on the care, treatment, and support available.

Because of these challenges it will be harder to put the standards in place. We want to work with services and people who used them to make sure we give them as much support as possible.

The Standards

People with lived experience of mental health services told us the standards should cover these five areas:

  • Access
  • Assessment, Planning, Treatment and Support
  • Moving Between and Out of Services
  • Workforce
  • Governance and Accountability

1. Access

What I can expect:

I will be able to easily access and understand information about what services are available, who they are for, and how I can get them.

No matter where I first asked for support, I will be supported to get the help that is right for me, from the right person.

I will be told how long I will have to wait to be seen. I will get regular updates if I have to wait longer.

I will be given information on other support that is available. This could include online resources, self-help, and community resources.

I will be treated with kindness and respect when accessing services. I will be listened to.

I will get the help I need as quickly as possible.

If I am having a crisis, I will be able to access the help when I need it in a place that suits me. I will be shown kindness by the people who provide my support.

2. Assessment, Planning, Treatment and Support

What I can expect:

The help I get will be about me, my choices and what will help me. It will meet my cultural and social needs and will take notice of any bad experiences I might have had.

I will get the help I need in a kind environment where I am treated like everyone else.

I will be supported by professionals who have the skills needed to meet my needs.

If I need help from more than one professional or organisation, I will have one person who will help me organise these.

I will be asked what is important to me. This will be part of my mental health and wellbeing assessment.

The people who support me will be involved in my care if I want them to be. They will be told about support that is available to help them.

I will have one written care and treatment plan which is made by me and the professionals supporting me.

I will be able to see my care plan any time I want to. It will be regularly checked to make sure it still meets my needs.

Professionals and teams who work with me will communicate in a way I understand.

I will get the help I need as close to home as possible and in ways that suit me. This will be done if it is safe.

I will have a choice whether I access care and support digitally or face to face. I will get this support in an environment that is safe, clean and helps my treatment.

3. Moving between and out of services

What I can expect:

If I need to move between or out of services, I will be supported to get ready for this move. If I need someone to help me, that support will be available to me where and when I need it.

If I move between different services, my care plan will include clear information which supports my move.

My care plan will be shared as I move between services so I do not have to repeat my story. This will be done only with my permission.

If I move out of services, I will understand how to get support, care, and treatment if I need it again. It will be easy for me to access it.

4. Workforce

What I can expect:

I will be sure that the staff who work with me have the right skills, training, and experience.

I will be sure that the staff who work with me are well supported to do their job and their wellbeing is protected.

5. Governance and Accountability

What I can expect:

I will be asked about my experiences and this feedback will be used to make services better. The people who support me will also be able to give feedback.

I will have clear information on what to do if these standards are not being met or I am not happy with my experience.

I will be told where to find independent advocacy services for support to share my experience. I can do this privately and will be supported to make a complaint if I want to.

Mental health and wellbeing support

If you are affected by any of the issues covered in this document and need support, help is available.

Here are links and phone numbers for some of those sources of support:



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