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Publication - Research and analysis

Mental Health in Scotland - a 10-year vision: analysis of responses to the public engagement excercise

Published: 5 Dec 2016
Population Health Directorate
Part of:
Health and social care

Analysis of responses to the Scottish Government's engagement exercise about a new Mental Health Strategy for Scotland.

72 page PDF

774.7 kB

72 page PDF

774.7 kB

Mental Health in Scotland - a 10-year vision: analysis of responses to the public engagement excercise
Page 2

72 page PDF

774.7 kB


This report presents an analysis of responses to the Scottish Government's engagement exercise about a new Mental Health Strategy for Scotland.


The new Mental Health Strategy is intended to cover a 10-year period and follows on from a 3-year strategy that ran from 2012 to 2015. During 2015 and 2016, the Scottish Government has reviewed evidence and engaged with a wide variety of stakeholders, internal and external, to inform the development of policy for the next strategy. People and organisations also gave written comments, and events were hosted by the Scottish Association for Mental Health, Voices of Experience, the Scottish Youth Parliament and Young Scot.

The Scottish Government has been carrying out an engagement exercise on the themes and aims that the next strategy will cover. That engagement exercise has included 6 public engagement events and a 7-week period during which groups and individuals have been invited to submit their views through the Scottish Government's online consultation hub (Citizen Space). Respondents were asked for their views on:

  • The Scottish Government's priorities for transforming mental health in Scotland;
  • The early actions the Scottish Government proposes to take to deliver this transformation; and
  • How success should be measured over the 10-year period.

The Scottish Government's paper on the new Mental Health Strategy can be found at:

This report presents an analysis of the written responses to the engagement exercise. The Scottish Government will consider this analysis alongside the feedback from the public engagement events that have been run across 2016 by organisations including NHS Health Scotland, the Scottish Youth Parliament and the Mental Health Alliance. These findings will be used to inform the development of the final Strategy ahead of publication later in 2016.

Profile of respondents

A total of 598 responses are available to inform the analysis [1] . The majority of these were received through the Scottish Government's online consultation hub.

A profile of respondents by type is set out in Table 1 below. Group respondents have been placed into one of ten respondent types by the analysis team. Please be aware that a number of respondents could have been placed in more than one group and a degree of judgement has been used.

Table 1: Respondents by type

Type of respondent Number
Academic or research group 8
Health 40
Local authority 8
Multi-agency partnership ( MAP) 21
Network, forum or membership organisation 31
Other 6
Professional body or college 16
Public agency 13
Third sector 80
User and/or carer group 11
(Total Groups) (234)
Individuals 364

The majority of responses, 61%, were submitted by individual members of the public. The remaining 39% of responses were submitted by groups or organisations. Points to note about the respondent categories for the group respondents are:

  • The academic or research groups span six Scottish universities and the specialisms of: looked after children; youth and criminal justice; child and adolescent health; health and social care; mental health and incapacity law, rights and policy; learning disabilities; and health sciences and sport.
  • The health respondents include: health boards; directorates, divisions, committees or strategy groups from health boards; clinical groups; groups of primary or secondary care practitioners; and health promotion or education groups or bodies.
  • The local authority group includes: local authorities; the educational psychology service of local authorities; and the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities ( COSLA)
  • The multi-agency partnerships ( MAPs) group includes: Health and Social Care Partnerships ( HSCPs); Alcohol and Drugs Partnerships ( ADPs); Strategic and Planning Partnerships; and an Integrated Joint Board ( IJB).
  • The network, forum or membership organisation group includes organisations with a specific mental health focus but also a number of networks, forums or organisations with another primary focus, such as younger or older people. It also includes a campaigning community which submitted a response containing the views of more than 10,000 of their members in Scotland.
  • The "Other" group includes private sector organisations or bodies, a religious denomination and a political party.
  • The professional body or college group is primarily made up of bodies or colleges representing those working in the health or social care sectors.
  • The public agency group includes bodies working in the justice sector, the health and social care sectors and on human rights.
  • The third sector group is the largest and includes a very wide range of organisations. They include organisations which work primarily in the field of mental health as well as those whose work focuses on other subject areas or other groups of people.
  • The user or carer group includes organisations which work nation-wide as well as organisations representing people in a particular area of Scotland.

A list of the groups that submitted a response to the consultation is included as Annex 1 to this report, and copies of responses to be published [2] can be found on the Scottish Government's website at:

Analysis and reporting

The remainder of this report presents a question-by-question analysis of the three main questions set out in the consultation document. Question 1 included both a closed ('Yes/No') part and an open-ended opportunity to make a further comment. Questions 2 and 3 were both open questions.

The data at the closed ('Yes/No') part of Question 1 was analysed by respondent type. A number of respondents did not make their submission through Citizen Space, but submitted their comments in a statement-style format. When these responses contained a very clear answer at the 'Yes/No' element of Question 1, this has been recorded. The remaining content was analysed qualitatively under the most directly relevant consultation question.

An analytical framework was developed for each of the open-ended questions, with a separate code created to cover each of the main themes arising. These codes were then applied to each comment made.

Many of the submissions made were both lengthy and detailed, and this report can only present a summary analysis which focuses primarily on the most frequently raised themes and issues. However, as noted above, most of the responses can be found on the Scottish Government's website and all responses have been considered by the Scottish Government's Mental Health Unit.

Each of the three questions had a particular focus (priorities, actions, and vision of the future), but there was considerable variation as to how respondents addressed each question. This has meant that very similar comments may have been made against any of the questions and there is a degree of repetition running through the report. For example, an issue such as 'needing to do more to tackle stigma and discrimination' might have been made as a general comment about the whole Strategy, have been raised about one or more of the existing Priorities or suggested as an additional Priority. It could also have been raised in relation to existing actions or suggested as an additional action at Question 2, while a Scotland in which there is less stigma or discrimination may have been part of the future vision set out at Question 3.

As with any engagement or consultation exercise, it is important to note that the views expressed and, by extension, the themes and issues presented below, are those of the groups or individuals who chose to make a submission. These views cannot be assumed to be representative of the wider population.