Mental health and wellbeing strategy

Strategy laying out our approach to improving mental health for everyone in Scotland.

14. Governance, monitoring and evaluation

Appropriate governance arrangements will be put in place to oversee the implementation of this Strategy and track progress.

Governance principles

Our governance is based on the following principles:

  • We will ensure high-level strategic governance brings together key partners to oversee the national mental health policy landscape, drawing appropriate connections between this Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy, other interdependent strategies and policy imperatives. We will seek to build upon existing good governance structures in doing so.
  • We will ensure strategic planning and high-level governance of mental health policy is built upon a partnership of Scottish Government, Local Government, the third sector and public sector organisations and structures. This recognises their roles in local leadership, experience of service improvement and operational delivery.
  • We will ensure there is a clear description and understanding of the separate accountabilities and responsibilities of the key partner organisations and partnerships with oversight in place to monitor delivery.
  • We will ensure governance structures and decision-making processes are clear and transparent, and that people taking part in governance arrangements are supported to understand their role in the process.
  • We will ensure policymaking is informed by the voices of those with lived experience of accessing support and services, and the workforce, including those with experience of developing and delivering services. We will ensure there is space for challenge, with access to a wide range of evidence and expertise.
  • We will ensure there are opportunities for both national and local leadership, with key national outcomes that the entire system can work towards, whilst maintaining local flexibilities.

Scrutiny and assurance

We will also work to strengthen accountability and ensure that we have appropriate scrutiny and assurance arrangements in place for the whole mental health system. This will support national scrutiny bodies and service providers and help drive continuous improvement in the overall quality and safety of all mental health services. It will also place continued emphasis on the experience and outcomes of people who use them.

A series of multidisciplinary groups and workstreams currently exist across the mental health policy landscape. Consideration will be given to how these are brought together to inform and progress the Strategy under a joint decision making body, the Mental Health and Wellbeing Leadership Board. Relevant groups within the policy landscape are indicated in the following diagram.

Proposed Strategic Governance
A diagram showing the various groups that will contribute to the governance of the Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy, with a leadership group to make executive decisions

Graphic text below:

Mental Health and Wellbeing Leadership

Board Executive structure overseen by the Minister for Social Care, Mental Wellbeing and Sport and COSLA spokesperson

  • Care and Wellbeing Portfolio Board
  • Joint Strategic Board for Children and Families Mental Health
  • Mental Health and Wellbeing Programmes
  • Portfolio Boards
  • Mental Health Leads Network
  • Third sector
  • Best Start, Bright Futures
  • National Workforce Fora, Working Groups and Steering Groups
  • Scottish Benchmarking Network
  • Quality and Safety Board
  • Health and Social Care Management Board
  • Equality and Human Rights Forum
  • Delivery Partners
  • Professional Advisory Groups
  • Local Health and Care Management Boards
  • Lived Experience Panels

The new governance framework to oversee mental health supports and services for perinatal, infant, children, young people and their families will report into the Strategy governance structure.

Monitoring and evaluation

We will publish a monitoring and evaluation framework to accompany this Strategy. This will set out how we will measure progress towards the outcomes. It will also take account of existing indicators and standards currently under development.

Improving data and evidence

Public Health Scotland has developed and published a set of population-level Mental Health Indicators. These monitor levels of wellbeing and mental health problems within the population and also individual determinants of wellbeing and mental health. This has highlighted gaps in the data we need to help us understand population-level mental health and its determinants. These will be addressed through:

  • Influencing existing data sources. This is where new data is required to be collected using those sources.
  • Influencing the wider research agenda on mental health in Scotland.
  • Indicator development. This will involve longer-term developmental work to determine the precise nature of the data that should be collected. It may include, for example, working closely with the third sector, lived experience panels, literature review and engagement with users of the indicator sets.

Any work undertaken on improving data and evidence will take account of the Scottish Government and COSLA's 'Health and Social Care Data Strategy' and seek to ensure that any data collected is appropriate, coordinated and proportionate.

Cross-government working

The Delivery Plan for this Strategy will set out the actions we are taking to realise our outcomes and achieve our vision. The Delivery Plan will include:

  • Core actions (where the Scottish Government Mental Health Directorate holds lead policy responsibility)
  • Joint actions (where responsibility is held jointly with others across Government, e.g. Mental Health and Drugs Policy)
  • Actions where we need to ensure alignment (e.g. stigma relating to self-harm and suicide prevention)
  • Interdependent actions (where other areas of government hold lead responsibility, e.g. Tackling Hate Crime or Care Experience)

The work to be undertaken will call for collaborative working with Local Government and other partners.



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