Scottish Mental Health Partnership responds to 10-year Mental Health Strategy

Scottish Government published a new 10-year Mental Health Strategy on 30th March, which it believes will improve access to services and support earlier intervention.

Samaritans Scotland is a member of the Scottish Mental Health Partnership. The Partnership's response to the strategy is below.


Chair of the Scottish Mental Health Partnership, Dr Alastair Cook, has said “We are pleased

to see a commitment to parity of physical and mental health in the new Strategy. However,

the next stages and actions will be crucial to delivering the transformation needed to create

good mental health for all. The Partnership, as a coalition of national organisations, can

play a key role in supporting development and delivery of the Strategy and would welcome

the opportunity to do so.”

The Scottish Mental Health Partnership welcomes the publication of the new Strategy and

the inclusion of a vision for Scotland where people can get the right help at the right time.

The Partnership are pleased to see the Strategy includes actions around early intervention

and prevention, as well as an approach that considers the multiple factors which affect

peoples’ mental health; housing, poverty and education all play a key role in wellbeing.

We are also encouraged by the pledged investment in the mental health workforce,

including the additional 800 workers. However, we are uncertain as to whether this is the

significant investment required to achieve the ambitions of the Strategy until we see

further detail.

The Partnership would like to see strong leadership and oversight of the Strategy and

would welcome the opportunity to contribute to the development and delivery of next

steps and future plans. We also feel it is important for the voices and experiences of those

who use the system to be included as part of the development and delivery of the Strategy,

such as in a process of co-design and co-ownership.

The Partnership would like to see an increased share of health and social care spending

targeted towards mental health throughout the life of the Strategy. Whilst there may be a

commitment towards parity between mental and physical health, adequate resources need

to be directed towards mental health to ensure this happens.

To truly achieve parity, we need sustainable, recurring and substantial investment in mental health. We believe good mental health must be seen as important for everyone and recognise this extends beyond the remit for health and social care.

The Scottish Mental Health Partnership provides a collective, strategic voice for

organisations with an interest in mental health in Scotland. The Partnership is a coalition

of third sector mental health organisations, service providers and professional bodies

working together to promote mental health awareness and improve outcomes for people

experiencing mental health problems.

The Mental Health Strategy 2017-2027 can be viewed here:

Find out more about the Partnership here: