Mental health services will receive a £15 million funding boost over the next three years, the Minister for Public Health Michael Matheson announced last week. (Mr Matheson is now the Justice Minister following the new cabinet announcements made on Friday).
The additional investment will be used to improve mental health services and will include initiatives such as employing more staff to work with children and young people and the establishment of a mental health innovation fund.
The fund will look at better ways to deliver services, particularly at primary care level, and ensure services are working together to help people who are in distress, or experiencing trauma. It will help people get better help at an early stage of their illness and also improve quality through training and development.
Michael Matheson, Minister for Public Health, said:
“I’m pleased to be able to announce this significant extra investment of £15 million that will help us to continue to drive up standards right across Scotland. Demand for mental health services has increased in recent years, and we must ensure that they continue to be effective and that people are getting the help they need.
“The new innovation fund will help us to identify new ways of treating people, particularly in the early stages. It will direct resources towards projects that will improve mental health treatments in the primary care sector.
“We will also be making further investment in Child and adolescent mental health services. Scotland was the first country in the UK to introduce waiting time targets for these services, and we have increased the workforce by 45 per cent. However, there is still more that can be done and so we will be putting more resources into recruiting and training specialist staff to work in this important area.”