Mental health strategy 2017-2027: second progress report

Our second progress report on the Mental Health Strategy 2017-2027.

Progress on the Mental Health Strategy and Beyond

The Mental Health Strategy set out to transform the mental wellbeing of people in Scotland and the mental health services they use. The Strategy has formed the basis of a programme of work that goes well beyond the initial 40 actions. While this report summarises what has happened with each of those actions, it also describes how the landscape has changed since 2017, with many ambitious pieces of work extending well beyond the Strategy’s original scope.

Within the first two years of the Strategy, 19 of the 40 actions are complete or nearly complete. The remainder are in progress, with only Action 40 (a review at the halfway point of the Strategy in 2022) not yet underway. Beyond progress on the actions themselves, there have been several sets of recommendations from various reports and audits that have formed the basis of major new programmes of work which build on the initial ambitions set out in the Strategy. 

Some headline achievements over the last year have been:

  • 268 additional Whole Time Equivalent (WTE) mental health workers employed, as of 1 July 2019 (Action 15);
  • funding of £18.5 million in 2019/20, as part of an overall investment of £58 million over the last four years to help NHS Boards improve access to CAMHS and Psychological Therapies;
  • the investment of an additional £4 million to recruit 80 additional Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) staff across Scotland;
  • the launch of the Perinatal and Infant Mental Health Programme Board supported by £50 million of funding, to implement the recommendations of the Managed Clinical Network for perinatal mental health (Action 16);
  • the establishment of a Children and Young People’s Mental Health and Wellbeing Programme Board, to take forward the recommendations of the Children and Young People’s Mental Health Taskforce;
  • setting up an Independent Review of Mental Health Legislation in Scotland and a Review into the Delivery of Forensic Mental Health Services in Scotland;
  • the expansion of the Distress Brief Intervention (DBI) programme to under-18s, with £4.5 million of additional funding across 2018-21 (Action 11);
  • the publication of our vision to improve early intervention in psychosis in Scotland (Action 26); and
  • the publication of the first report of the Quality Indicator Profile for Mental Health by NHS National Services Information Services Division (Action 38).

This report details progress in these actions, and the wider programmes of work they underpin, through the following sections:

1. Perinatal and infant mental health and wellbeing;

2. Children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing;

3. Adult mental health care;

4. Performance in key specialist services;

5. Investment in the workforce;

6. Public mental health and suicide prevention; and

7. Rights and mental health.

Appendix 1 sets out our progress in delivering each individual Strategy Action.

Appendix 2 sets out our progress in delivering each commitment in the 2018/19 Programme for Government.

Appendix 3 sets out the actions we are taking in response to the audit of Rejected Referrals to CAMHS.

Appendix 4 sets out the Scottish Government’s response to each of the 103 recommendations made by the Youth Commission on Mental Health Services.



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