Mental health strategy: third annual progress report

Our third progress report on the mental health strategy 2017 to 2027.

Addressing Mental Health Challenges

Transition and Recovery Plan[2]

Our Mental Health Transition and Recovery Plan was published in October 2020. It lays out key areas of mental health need that have arisen as a result of Covid-19 and lockdown, and the actions that the Scottish Government will take to respond. The plan is evidence-based and was developed in consultation with a wide range of stakeholders. It places Mental Health Services as a priority within NHS remobilisation, and covers eighteen key areas of focus. The Plan contains 107 actions, and we have identified an initial set of 12 key commitments that we are taking forward at pace.

All of the actions in the Mental Health Strategy that were paused at the onset of the pandemic are included in the Transition & Recovery Plan as areas of key focus. The way we need to deliver those commitments has clearly fundamentally changed, and that means the wording of some commitments has needed to change too. Annex B of this report provides an overview of how actions that were previously part of the Mental health Strategy have been updated and reflected in the Transition And Recovery Plan.

Recovery and Renewal Fund

In February 2021, we announced £120 million for a Mental Health Recovery and Renewal Fund. This is the single largest investment in mental health in the history of devolution.

The Recovery & Renewal Fund will ensure the delivery of the Mental Health Transition & Recovery Plan. It will prioritise our ongoing work to improve specialist CAMHS services, address long waiting times, and clear waiting list backlogs.

Nearly £10 million will also be allocated to clearing backlogs in Psychological Therapies waiting lists for adults. 

We will provide significant additional support for mental health in primary care settings. We also recognise the need to focus on supporting people at the earliest possible stage. So we will invest in enhanced community support. 

Investing In The Right Mental Health Support

Over the course of the pandemic we have invested a further £18 million of dedicated funding to ensure our mental health response is robust, wide-ranging and reflective of our changed circumstances.

Amongst other work, we have expanded the NHS24 Mental Health Hub so that it is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We have also increased the capacity of the Breathing Space telephone helpline and web support service. 

We have created extra capacity for Computerised Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CCBT). Our Distress Brief Intervention programme has also been rolled out on a national basis, providing rapid, accessible and focussed one-to-one support for people in distress. 

We have also invested in supporting children and young people, providing funding to local authorities to support the mental wellbeing 5-24 year olds in their communities and to address the impact of the pandemic on children and young people.  

Programme for Government 2020/21

Our 2020-21 Programme for Government recognises that loneliness, isolation, grief and psychological trauma have taken a toll on our mental health, particularly amongst the young and those who already experienced mental health issues before COVID-19. It committed us to publish the Mental Health Transition and Recovery Plan, considering everything that influences our mental health and wellbeing, considering the needs of different groups, and seeking to reduce inequalities across the Scottish population.



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