Coronavirus (COVID-19): Mental Health - Transition and Recovery Plan

Posted by See Me, 12 October 2020

The Scottish Government had published it's mental health transition and recovery plan for COVID-19, which outlines their response to the mental health impacts of the pandemic.

It lays out key areas of mental health need that have arisen as a result of Covid19 and lockdown, and the actions that the Scottish Government will take to respond to that need. See Me worked with the Scottish Government to ensure tackling stigma and discrimination was featured in this plan. So we are happy to see the Government has committed to continuing to work with us to further develop their approach to tackling the fundamental barriers of stigma and discrimination.

Specifically the plan states: "We will continue our work with See Me to further develop our approach to tackling the fundamental barriers of stigma and discrimination," while it also promotes the 'it's okay not to be okay' message.

This plan is important. The pandemic has impacted on the mental health of all of us and we are seeing that people are struggling with their mental health for the first time as a result of everything going on. 

At the same time many people with pre-existing mental heath conditions are experiencing worsening symptoms and outcomes due to the huge changes in lifestyles, and in the way they can get help and support.

No matter the reason, everyone's mental health needs to be taken seriously and if more people are struggling, then it is vital that we don't see an increase in the amount of people experiencing stigma and discrimination. In a recent poll 54% of our volunteers told us that the self stigma they felt around their mental health had increased during the pandemic. However, 41% said that the stigma they experience towards their mental health from others had decreased during lockdown. So now is the time to make a change.

The removal of stigma and discrimination is key in ensuring people with mental health problems can live fulfilled lives. Removing stigma and discrimination creates the best conditions for good mental wellbeing, encourages preventative action and early intervention, encourages personalised support, care and treatment and helps with recovery. When mental health stigma and discrimination is removed people feel valued, included and respected, they have better access to and experience of services and sources of support, and they achieve the outcomes important to them.

The Scottish Government's full Transition and Recovery Plan is essential to ensure this happens.