This review draws on published evidence to set out the current situation and trends regarding mental health and wellbeing in Scotland. In doing so, it sits as a companion piece alongside engagement work with people with lived experience and other stakeholders, providing context for, and guiding the development of the new Scottish Government mental health and wellbeing strategy and related delivery plan. It begins by looking at levels of population mental wellbeing, prevalence and burden of mental health conditions, trends within these and what influences mental health and wellbeing. It then reflects on some of the key challenges impacting upon population mental health and wellbeing that the strategy needs to tackle, and in response to this, considers evidence-based approaches to addressing these challenges. Lastly it highlights some of the gaps in data and evidence that need to be filled to better inform policy and practice.
Given the broad scope of population and individual mental health and wellbeing, the review does not attempt to systematically appraise the literature, but rather to identify the most relevant and robust recent literature and data to inform policy discussions. It thus covers peer reviewed research publications - focussing on systematic reviews if available, reports from NHS bodies, from government and third sector organisations, and routinely gathered statistical and administrative data from Scotland and the wider UK. This literature and data was identified through searches of bibliographic databases, websites providing collated evidence resources, searches of websites of key organisations and through discussion with the Scottish Government Mental Health Research Advisory Group and mental health policy teams.
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