Mental health and wellbeing strategy: consultation - easy read

We want to hear your views on what a new mental health and wellbeing strategy for Scotland should look like. We have asked a series of questions, and your answers to these will help us write the final strategy.

Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy - Consultation: Easy Read

What is a Consultation?

As they usually do before making important changes, the Scottish Government wants to seek views of people on what should change.

When the Scottish Government asks people for their views it is called a Consultation.

The Scottish Government would like your views on how we can improve people's Mental Health and Wellbeing in Scotland.

What this consultation is about

This consultation is about mental health services and how to prevent poor mental health in Scotland.

Good mental health and wellbeing is important. This has been made even clearer in the pandemic.

We want high quality mental health support to be available for everyone that needs it.

We want the system to support people to be the best they can.

We asked people, including those who work in mental health services and those who have experience of mental health issues what outcomes they want for the strategy, or in other words, what they want the strategy to achieve for people.

The Scottish Government want to know your views on these outcomes.

The outcomes are the goals we want to achieve from the strategy.

What is the strategy about?

The Strategy will mainly cover the next five years, until 2027, but it some of the outcomes will take a lot longer to achieve.

The strategy will also set out a much longer term approach to improve the mental health and wellbeing of the population.

We want the Strategy to help make things more equal for people and make sure people's rights are protected.

The consultation includes terms such as "mental health" and "mental wellbeing" in the document

Mental Health and Wellbeing Support

Sometimes it can be difficult to talk or write about these experiences, whether they are your own or other people's. You can respond to any questions in the consultation that you want to. There is no need to respond to them all.

If you are affected by any of the issues covered in this document and need support, help is available. We have included links to some of those sources of support below.

Breathing Space / phone 0800 83 85 87

NHS24 / phone 111

Mind To Mind

National Trauma Training Programme


Part 1 - Descriptions

Mental Health - Everyone has mental health. This is how we think and feel about ourselves and the world around us

Mental Wellbeing – Is feeling good about your life, with a sense of purpose and good relationships with others.

Mental Health conditions and mental illness – These can greatly impact on your life. If you have a mental health condition or mental illness, you will have been seen by and diagnosed by a professional such as a Doctor or Psychiatrist.

Please put a tick in the box which best answers the question and how you feel.

Question 1. Do you agree with these descriptions?



If you answered no, what would you change about this description?

Part 2 - Our Overall Vision

We think that our simple vision for the Strategy should be "Better mental health and wellbeing for all."

Question 2: Do you agree with the vision?



If not, what would you suggest for the vision?

Question 3: If we achieve our vision, what do you think success would look like?

Part 3 - Our Key Areas of Focus

These are the areas we think we need to focus on:

Promoting and supporting the conditions for good mental health and mental wellbeing at population level.

Providing accessible signposting to help, advice and support.

Providing a rapid and easily accessible response to those in distress.

Ensuring safe, effective treatment and care of people living with mental illness

Question 4: Do you agree with these 4 areas?



If not, what else do you think we should concentrate on as a key area of focus?

Part 4 – Outcomes

Below are the outcomes that people have said they would like for the new Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy.

We would like to know what you think of these outcomes.

Please tick the box that describes how you feel about these outcomes.




Question 5. Do you agree that the Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy should influence the social factors that affect mental health and wellbeing, to improve people's lives and reduce inequalities? (This would include housing, education, poverty).




Question 6. Do you agree that the Mental Health and Wellbeing strategy should aim to achieve the following outcomes for people?

  Agree Neutral Disagree
People understand what is meant by mental health and wellbeing and mental health conditions      
People understand the things that can affect their own and other's mental health and wellbeing      
People recognise that it is natural for things that happen to them, to affect how they feel. Such as a family death or lose of a job.      
People know what they can do to look after their own and other's mental health and wellbeing. People know how to access help and what to expect.      
People are able to cope during times of stress, or challenging life circumstances      
People feel safe, secure, settled and supported      
People feel a sense of hope, purpose and meaning      
People feel valued, respected, included and accepted      
People feel connected with their communities and supported by their community.      
People know that it is okay to ask for help and that they have someone to talk to and listen to them      
People are able to have healthy, nurturing, supportive relationships throughout their lives      
People with mental health conditions are supported and able to achieve what they want to achieve in their daily lives      
People with mental health conditionsare supported to have as good physical health as possible      
People living with physical health conditions have as good mental health and wellbeing as possible      
People experiencing long term mental health conditions are supported to self-manage their care.      
People are involved in the decisions that affect their health, treatment and lives. Even where there may be limits on the decisions they can make (due to the setting, incapacity or illness), people feel that they are supported to make choices, and their views and rights will be respected      

Do you have any comments you would like to add on the above outcomes?

Question 7. Do you agree that the Mental Health and Wellbeing strategy should aim to achieve the following outcomes for communities?

This includes geographic communities, communities of interest and communities of shared characteristics.

  Agree Neutral Disagree
Communities are able to influence decisions that affect their lives and support mental wellbeing      
Communities help people, including people with mental health conditions, to live free from stigma and discrimination      
Communities are a source of support that help people cope with challenging life events.      
Communities provide access to a range of activities and opportunities for enjoyment and learning.      

Question 7. Do you agree that the Mental Health and Wellbeing strategy should aim to achieve the following outcomes for populations?

  Agree Neutral Disagree
We live in a fair and compassionate society that is free from discrimination and stigma      
We have reduced inequalities in mental health and wellbeing and mental health conditions      
We have created the social conditions for people to grow up, learn, live, work and play, which support and enable people and communities to flourish and achieve the highest attainable mental health and wellbeing across the life-course      
People living with mental health conditions experience improved quality and length of life      

Do you have any comments you would like to add on the above outcomes?

Question 8. Do you agree that the Mental Health and Wellbeing strategy should aim to achieve the following outcomes for services and support?

  Agree Neutral Disagree
A strengthened community-focussed approach, which includes and funds the third sector and community-based services and support for mental health and wellbeing.      
Lived experience is genuinely valued and integrated in all parts of our mental health care, treatment and support services.      
People experience a person-centred and flexible approach which supports them to achieve their personal outcomes.      
We have a service and support system that ensures there is no wrong door, with points of access and clear referral pathways that people and the workforce understand and can use      
Everyone can access support and services in the right place, at the right time wherever they live in Scotland.      
People are able to easily access and move between services and support (clinical and non-clinical)      
Services and support focus on early intervention and prevention, as well as treatment.      

Do you have any comments you would like to add on the above outcomes?

Question 9. Do you agree that the Mental Health and Wellbeing strategy should aim to achieve the following outcome for information, data and evidence?

  Agree Neutral Disagree
People who make decisions about support, services and funding use high quality evidence, research and data to improve mental health and wellbeing and to reduce inequalities. They have access to infrastructure and analysis that support this.      

Do you have any comments you would like to add on the above outcome?

10. Are there any other outcomes we should be working towards? Please say below:

Creating the Conditions for Good Mental Health and Wellbeing

Different things affect our mental health and wellbeing, such as our family, our work, housing and money. We may also have suffered trauma or have less opportunities to access support and services which affect mental health.

We want to hear what you think are the most important factors.

Question 11. What are the main things in day-to-day life that currently have the biggest positive impact on the mental health and wellbeing of you, or of people you know?

Question 12. What are the main things in day-to-day life that currently have the biggest negative impact on the mental health and wellbeing of you, or people you know?

Question 13. There are things we can all do day-to-day to support our own, or others', mental health and wellbeing and stop mental health issues arising or recurring.

In what ways do you actively look after your own mental health and wellbeing?

  Yes No
Community groups    
Cultural activities    
Time in nature    
Time with family and friends    
Mindfulness/meditation practice    
Hobbies/practical work    

Is there anything else you would like to tell us?

Question 14. Is there anything that stops you from being able to do these activities? Such as costing too much, too far away

Question 15. We know that money worries and debt can have an impact on mental health and that this is being made worse by the recent rise in the cost of living. In what way do concerns about money impact on your mental health?

Question 16. What support would help with money worries?

Access to Advice and Support for Mental Wellbeing

Question 17. If you wanted to improve your mental health and wellbeing, where would you go first for advice and support?

  Yes No
NHS 24    
Third Sector (charity)    
Doctor or GP    
Online Support    
Teacher or Lecturer    
Other Support    

If you ever access online support, which website or organisation do you go to for help and support?

We want to hear about your experiences of accessing mental health and wellbeing support so we can learn from good and bad experiences.

Question 18. Could you tell us if you had a good or bad experience of the following:

  Good Bad
NHS staff listened to me    
Waiting time for an appointment    
Choice of services I could access    
I was involved in my treatment choices    
Services were easy to access    
Access to emergency care and support    
People understood the support I need    
I was signposted to support services    

Improving Services

Question 19. Please tell us about the things that would make services better?

  Yes No
Shorter waiting times for access to services    
Less signposting to services    
More choice for treatment and support    
Services which are closer to home    
Access to support services which help me achieve my goals    
Access to online support services    
I am involved in my care and treatment plan    
Joined up services    

Difficult or Traumatic Life Experiences

Question 20. For some people, mental health issues can arise following traumatic or very difficult life and/or adulthood experiences in childhood.

What kind of support is most helpful to support recovery from previous traumatic experiences?

  Yes No
Counselling Services    
Psychiatrist Services    
Clinical Psychology    
Support services which help achieve my personal goals    
Support care co-ordinator    
Online Support    

Question 21. What things can get in the way of recovery from such experiences?

Children, Young People and Families' Mental Health

Question 22. What should our priorities be when supporting the mental health and wellbeing of children and young people, their parents and families?

  Yes No
Family Support Services    
Being able to talk to your Doctor or Psychiatrist    
Mental Health support in schools, colleges and universities    
Joined up services    
Counselling services    
Online services and support    

Question 23. What things do you feel have the biggest impact on children and young people's mental health?

  Yes No
Access to hobbies and activities    
Support in schools, colleges and universities    
Access to open air    
Supportive Family    
Sports and exercise    

Your Experience of Mental Health Services

Question 24. If you have received care and treatment for any aspect of your mental health, who did you receive care and treatment from?

  Yes No
Psychiatrist or psychologist    
GP Services    
Emergency/Crisis Service    
In-patient hospital services    
Online support/services    
Third Sector Services    

Our Vison and Outcomes for the Mental Health and Wellbeing workforce

What is the Mental Health workforce?

People who work in mental health support services

Our vision is that the workforce now and in the future are skilled and can provide person-centred, trauma-informed, rights-based, compassionate services and support.

Question 25. Are these the right outcomes for our workforce ?

  Agree Neutral Disagree
Good data to help with workforce planning      
Improved workforce data for different mental health staff groups      
Peer support and peer worker roles are part of mental health services      
Improved national and international recruitment      
Create a more diverse workforce      
Increased awareness of careers in mental health      
Long term workforce supported by training      
Increased student intake through traditional routes into mental health professions      
Create alternative routes into mental health professions      
Improved and consistent training standards across Scotland      
Our workforce feel more knowledgeable about other Services in their local area and how to link others in to them      
Our workforce is informed and confident in supporting self-care and recommending digital mental health resources      
Improved leadership training      

Question 26. Do you have any comments you would like to add on the above outcomes?

Who are our mental health and wellbeing workforce?

Question 27. Who can support your mental health and wellbeing?

  Yes No
Psychiatrist or psychologist    
A GP or any other NHS staff    
A social care worker or a teacher    
A charity or third sector worker    
Someone like you, who has experience of mental health issues and can give you advice    

Question 28. Do you go to anyone else when you need help with your mental health and wellbeing?

Question 29. Where do you find people who can help to support your mental health and wellbeing?

  Yes No
In a hospital    
In a GP surgery    
In a care home    
In a charity or third sector organisation    
In a school or college    
At your work    
In a police station or prison    
In a community centre or club    
In a church or other place of worship    
At home    

Question 30. Where else would you find people who can help to support your mental health and wellbeing?

Question 31. How can they support you?

  Yes No
Tell you where to go to get help    
Diagnose you    
Treat you    
Help you stay well    
Help you deal with difficult life circumstances or events that can make you unwell    
Help your family support you    

Question 32. Is there any other way in which others can support your mental health and wellbeing?

Final Thoughts?

Question 33. Is there anything else you want to tell us about?

Giving your consultation answers

You do not need to read all, or answer all the questions, unless you want to. We know that different people will be interested in different issues.

We would like you to give us your answers by 9 September 2022.

You can fill out this consultation by answering the questions above and sending it to us by email or by post. Please also include the Respondent Information Form.

Please respond to this consultation using the Scottish Government's consultation hub, Citizen Space. Access and respond to this consultation online.

You can save and return to your responses while the consultation is still open. Please ensure that consultation responses are submitted before the closing date of 09/09/2022.

If you are unable to respond using our consultation hub, please complete the Respondent Information Form to:

Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy - Consultation

Scottish Government

Mental Health Directorate

St Andrew's House

Edinburgh, EH1 3DG

Handling your response

If you respond using Citizen Space, you will be directed to the About You page before giving your answers. Please tell us how you want your answers to be handled and if you are happy for them to be published. If you ask for your answers not to be published, we will do as you ask.

All respondents should be aware that the Scottish Government has to follow the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 and would have to consider any request made to it under the Act for information about answers to this consultation.

Please complete and return the Respondent Information Form included in this document with your answers to the questions so we know whether you want us to publish your response or not.

To find out how we handle your personal data, please see our privacy policy.

Next steps in the process

If you have given permission for your answers to be made public, and after we have checked that they contain nothing offensive, your answers will be made available to the public.

After the closing date, we will look at all responses and considered them along with any other information we have. Responses will be published if we have been given permission to do so. An analysis report will also be made available.

Comments and complaints

If you have any comments about how this consultation exercise has been conducted, please send them to the contact address above or at

Scottish Government consultation process

Consultation is an essential part of the policymaking process. It gives us the chance to think about your opinion and expertise in an area where we think changes should be made.

You can find all our consultations online. Each consultation gives details on the issues we are thinking about, as well as a way for you to give us your views, either online, by email or by post.

Responses will be looked at and used as part of the decision making process, along with a range of other available information and evidence. We will publish a report of this analysis for every consultation.



Back to top