Mental health and wellbeing strategy

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

3. Introduction

This Strategy lays out our long-term vision and approach to improving the mental health and wellbeing of everyone in Scotland.

Acknowledging that there is a long way to go, we describe what we think a highly effective and well-functioning mental health system should look like – with the right support available, in the right place, at the right time, whenever anyone asks for help.

As well as ensuring that specialist mental health services are available whenever they are needed, we know that mental health does not just mean mental illness. In addition to recognising the needs of people with severe and enduring mental health conditions, the ambitions of this Strategy cover all levels of need, from maintaining good mental wellbeing, to the support available in our communities, to recognising and responding to the many underlying social determinants, circumstances and inequalities that can affect people's mental health and wellbeing.

This document therefore sets out the shared vision of Scottish Government and the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA) vision to improve mental health and wellbeing – including the role of other key areas such as poverty, housing, employment and our communities.

In order to support a long-term approach, this Strategy is not time limited. We will publish a Delivery Plan, which will be developed with partners and stakeholders and refreshed regularly, showing the specific actions we will take, and when they will be undertaken.


In the process of writing this Strategy, we have received a wide range of views, information and contributions from organisations and members of the public. Our main aim has been to reflect what people told us was important to them. We would like to thank everyone who took the time to contribute by responding to the public consultation, by participating in engagement sessions or workshops, or by meeting with us directly.

Scottish Government and COSLA are committed to ensuring that the views of our stakeholders, and in particular the voices of lived experience, continue to drive the work we do to realise the ambitions of this Strategy.



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