Scotland’s Mental Health and Wellbeing Delivery Plan 2023-2025 - Easy Read Version
This Delivery Plan sets out how Scottish Government and COSLA (The Convention of Scottish Local Authorities) will deliver the new Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy. The Strategy was first published in June 2023.
This work described in the Delivery Plan aims to tackle the causes of poor mental health and support people who need help the most.
The Delivery Plan will be reviewed and updated after 18 months.
Equalities and Human Rights
People have told us it is important to make sure mental health support and services are accessible to everyone. This includes people in disadvantaged groups.
The Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy set out ten priorities. Priorities are the things we think are most important. For each priority we say what we want to do, and who will do it.
Priority 1: Change how people think about mental health
We need to change how people think about mental health. People should be able to talk about mental health issues and ask for help when they need it. They should not be discriminated against because of this.
We will work with others to find the best way to do this. This will include working with people with lived experience.
Priority 2: Accessible information and advice for everyone
We will make sure that everyone can get the information they need, however they need it.
We know that not everyone wants to get information or support in the same way. Some people need support in person and some want to get it digitally.
We will make sure that everyone working in services understands mental health issues. They will understand that some people find it hard to access services.
There will always be other options available for people who cannot or do not want to access information digitally.
Priority 3: More support for mental health in GP and other services
We want to make it easier for people to get mental health support in communities across Scotland. Support does not always have to be medical and it should be available from other sources than just the NHS.
We will look at all the things that can cause mental health problems. These include loneliness, poverty, drugs, and alcohol.
We will give advice and support on mental health and wellbeing along with wider issues. This will mean working together with local authorities, community groups and charities.
Priority 4: More support for people in mental health crisis
This priority is about support, care, and treatment for people in crisis. We want to keep them safe and stop things getting worse for them. This includes self-harm or thinking about suicide.
In September 2022, we published our Suicide Prevention Strategy. We are also working with partners and people with lived experience to develop Scotland’s first Self-Harm Strategy and Action Plan.
Priority 5: Promote good mental health and tackle mental health inequality
Lots of things can affect a person’s mental health - home life, work, physical health, housing, income, relationships, and community. Difficult life experiences or inequality can also affect mental health and wellbeing.
Some groups have poorer mental health and wellbeing because of things they cannot control. This can include low income, poor housing, lack of employment opportunities, and discrimination.
We need to support people to have better mental health at an early stage so they do not need medical help later in life. We will include this in our planning and decisions at national and local level.
Priority 6: Better local mental health and wellbeing support
We want mental health and wellbeing support services to meet each person’s needs. They should get them at the right time, in the right place, and in the right way.
Support, care, and treatment need to be delivered as locally as possible. There will always be some people who need specialist mental health support.
Others will have mental health conditions that are long-term or lifelong, and they will need support for the rest of their lives.
A range of supports and services need to be available in the community to help keep people well. We also need proper funding for specialist services and therapies. Both are needed to meet the demand for services.
Priority 7: People get care and treatment as close to home as possible
We will work with organisations locally, regionally, and nationally to make sure people get the care that they need, as close to home as possible.
Good organisation and planning will be needed to make things better. We need to keep everyone safe and find out which groups have the biggest challenges.
Priority 8: Better support for those in the forensic mental health system
Forensic mental health services are for people with a mental illness who are involved in the legal or court system.
Some people get forensic mental health services because they are at a high risk of harming others or themselves.
We will start a new project to look at rights and protections for people within the forensic mental health system.
Priority 9: Better services for people who need extra support
We know that some groups, including people with learning disabilities are more likely to have health problems. This also has an impact on their mental health.
We will work with health, social care, education, and community organisations to make sure those who need it get the care and support they need.
We will take a range of actions to make sure that there are enough staff for anyone who needs extra help and support.
Priority 10: Promote good mental health for children and young people
Babies and small children need care that supports good health and wellbeing. This includes good nutrition, healthy play, and protection from harm.
Many of us have bad childhood experiences which can affect our mental health and wellbeing. This can have an impact on things later in life like access to education, health, housing, and employment.
We want all staff to be aware of this in services across Scotland. All services will understand how bad childhood experiences can affect mental health and will support recovery.
The full Delivery Plan lists a number of actions underneath each priority. We will work with our key partners on each of these actions over the next 18 months. We will then update the Delivery Plan in 2025.
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