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Postcards from Scotland

Mental Health Consultation for Scotland - Emerging Thoughts

The Scottish Government has now issued its 'emerging thoughts' in relation to its Mental Health Strategy for 2012 -2015. You can either read the document below or download it.


In the course of the consultation on the Mental Health Strategy the Scottish Government gave a commitment that it would produce a short document by the end of March setting out its emerging thinking following from the consultation process to keep people informed of progress. This is that document. It is not a comprehensive statement of all that will be in the Strategy, nor does the exclusion of an item indicate that it will not be in the Strategy. It is also not intended as a further consultation, though, of course, we will continue to welcome people’s thoughts on how we can improve mental health in Scotland between now and 2015.


The Strategy will cover mental health services and mental health improvement.  While there may be some mention of dementia services, the current Dementia Strategy runs to 2013 and we will begin consultation on a successor document later this year. Similarly, there is an existing framework in place for work on suicide and self-harm which runs to 2013 and we will also consult separately on what should follow the 10 year Choose Life Strategy.


The Strategy will set out an ambitious work plan for the Scottish Government and its partners, with commitments being challenging and measureable. As before, we will focus those aspects of the system where we can make the biggest impact, and where we make a commitment we will deliver on it.

Headline Themes

Key themes that have emerged from the consultation focus on how mental health is supported through promotion, prevention, treatment and care by:

working more effectively with families and carers

embedding more peer to peer work and support

increasing the support for self management and behavioural approaches

extending the anti-stigma agenda forward to focus more on discrimination

developing the outcomes approach to include, personal, social and clinical outcomes

continuing the focus on the rights of those with mental illness

Key Priorities

In addition to continuing the work on improving access to psychological therapies and specialist child and adolescent mental health services the following key areas of delivery are emerging:

improvement of crisis and first contact services for those in distress

better access to evidence-based parenting programmes

development work on trauma services and services for those with developmental disorders, including ADHD

work to improve the mental health of offenders, with a particular focus interventions likely to reduce offending

linkages between mental health and employment, both for those in work and those out of work

further targeted work on how mental health and alcohol services work together

embedding patient safety approaches in mental health

making greater use of new technologies to improve public health, as well for delivering treatment and support

greater focus on infant mental health

work which supports communities and individuals to take action which will promote and improve their mental health and wellbeing over time


The Strategy will maintain the focus on the use of data and information system, together with improvement approaches as a means of delivering better public health and treatment outcomes.

What Next

We will continue to work to complete the strategy before the Summer and will also publish a document which gives a summary of the consultation responses.

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