Scottish Government Mental Health Strategy

Posted by See Me, 31 March 2017

The Scottish Government have released their new 10 year mental health strategy.

We all have mental health and the results of this strategy must be that when we are struggling, we feel safe and supported to speak out and get help, in any area of our life, without the chance of being dismissed or judged.

We welcome the vision for the mental health strategy, with a strong focus on enabling those of us who experience mental health problems to realise our rights, free from stigma. However we are interested to see more detail on how this vision will be delivered over the ten year period, with deadlines for all actions set.

The strategy aims to establish parity between mental and physical health through a human rights based approach. This is vital, so people with mental health problems are treated equally, without discrimination. However it is key that any measurements of success on the strategy are done robustly and those improvements are demonstrated. 

The newly announced bi-annual forum and measurement framework will be important in this. People who have lived experience must be heard when it comes to analysing the strategy moving forward.

We would also like to note the important acknowledgement in the strategy that people with severe and enduring mental health problems can die up to 15-20 years younger. This is a great health inequality that must change. We hope the action on ensuring equitable provision of screening programmes contributes to the change we want to see, so people have equal access to physical health care and no longer have their physical problems dismissed as part of their mental health.

This strategy must make a difference to the lives of people experiencing mental health problems. Mental health affects us all and it is should never be used to negatively label or discriminate people. This must improve over the next ten years and See Me will be working to change this.