Mental Health Strategy 2012-2015: easy read

Easy read version of the Mental Health Strategy for Scotland 2012 to 2015.

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Main Area for Change 3: Community, Inpatient and Crisis Services

The mental health system should have a range of mental health services to meet the needs of all people with severe and long-lasting mental health illnesses.

Across Scotland, there has been a move away from treating people in hospitals, towards giving them treatment in the community. We need to keep looking at the way we organise our services and make sure we provide the best service possible.

Intensive Home Treatment Services and Crisis Prevention Approaches

Some people with mental health problems have long periods when they feel well, but then have sudden periods when they need help and treatment. Some NHS boards in Scotland have home treatment services to care for people at home during the periods when they need help.

People who have had this service said they thought it was very helpful, but this service is not available in all parts of Scotland.

Another idea is to have a crisis safe house. This is a place where people could go when they needed support in the short-term, to resolve a crisis.

We need to look at these different ideas and decide which approaches provide the best home treatment and crisis services.

First Episode of Psychosis

If psychosis is spotted early enough and treated, there is a better chance that the patient will make a full recovery and return to work, education or training.

We will identify what mental health services need to be in place to provide early treatment for people with psychosis.

Inpatient Services

As more people receive treatment in the community, the number of psychiatric hospital beds has been reduced across Scotland.

We will find out who is put in hospital beds and why, and find out how much this is different across different parts of Scotland.

Patient Safety

When thinking about whether patients should be treated at home or in hospital, we need to make sure they are safe. We have started a four year programme to reduce the harm that people receive when they are being cared for by mental health services.

Health Improvement for People with Severe and Long-Lasting mental illness

People with mental disorders die on average 10 years earlier than other people. The Scottish Government is improving the physical health of people with mental illnesses by making sure they have a health assessment every 15 months.

We will continue to work with the NHS to help people with severe and enduring mental illnesses to improve their physical health.


We know that being in the right work is good for a person's health and improves their quality of life and wellbeing. This is also true for people with mental or physical health conditions. However, people with mental illness are less likely to be engaged in work than other people. We need to change this.

With the right kind of help and support, people with serious mental health problems can get and keep work. We need to make sure they understand that working is good for their mental health.


Email: Katherine Christie

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