Scotland’s Mental Health Partnership is made up of 17 professional bodies and mental health third sector organisations, including Support in Mind Scotland.

The Partnership's members represent those with lived experience, providers, professionals, carers and the wider third sector. Each contributes its unique perspective to create an informed collective voice on mental health.

We have a vision of a Scotland where good mental health and wellbeing is enjoyed by all. Together with the Partnership, we are therefore calling for actions that will:

  • Promote better mental health and wellbeing for the whole population;
  • Prevent mental ill health and distress in communities and groups at highest risk;
  • Provide an appropriate choice of support, care and treatment in the right place and at the right time for those experiencing severe mental ill health.

You can view and download the full Manifesto here

We believe these actions should be delivered through a human rights based approach and supported by a set of nine underlying principles: lived experience led, reducing inequality, no wrong door approach, meeting community need, early intervention, recovery focused, anti stigma, real parity, and choice.

We believe there are some immediate actions that the next Scottish Government must take within its first 100 days:

Investment in mental health – Increased investment will be required to meet the additional mental health and distress demands of both the Covid-19 pandemic and the expected economic downturn to follow. We therefore call for a substantial increase in the amount of mental health expenditure in each year of the next parliamentary term.

Children and young people - We call for a National Transitions Strategy to improve outcomes for children and young people experiencing mental ill health in their transitions to adulthood, as proposed in the Disabled Children and Young People (Transitions) (Scotland) Bill.

Distress Brief Intervention – We call for full national implementation of the Distress Brief Intervention programme following its very successful pilot. The implementation should continue the partnership model that has seen the programme become such a success.

We also call for:

  • The immediate establishment of a cross directorate Prevention Working Group on Mental Ill Health to progress work on social determinants of mental ill health
  • A national programme to promote mentally healthy workplaces
  • The creation of a comprehensive Mental Health Workforce Plan
  • Basic mental health awareness and first aid training for all public sector staff
  • Engagement with all public sector funders to establish a new regime including guaranteed multi-year core funding settlements for third sector organisations
  • A more proactive approach to mental health provision within primary care in all communities
  • A national physical health improvement programme for people with mental ill health to achieve a substantial reduction in the mortality gap by 2026
  •  Improved access to nature and to safe leisure environments, particularly for those living in the most deprived areas.

Across the next Parliamentary term we call for …

A radically refreshed Mental Health Strategy - In 2022 we will promote a more ambitious vision of a Scotland where good mental health and wellbeing is enjoyed by all. We will call for a set of new actions across the “Promote, Prevent, Provide” framework.

Equalities – The proposed Equality Stakeholder Forum for Mental Health should be adequately supported and resourced to implement an Equalities Action Plan across the “Promote, Prevent, Provide” framework, reporting its progress annually.

Digital innovation – A human rights based approach should be taken to the further development of digital health and social care provision. This would, for example, ensure that choice will always be sought and honoured and digital exclusion reduced.

We also call for:

  • ‘Mental health in all policies’ across government and the wider public sector
  • A framework with clear criteria to assess the impact of all policies on population mental health and wellbeing – a Mental Health Impact Assessment
  • Development of a Self Harm Strategy for Scotland;
  • Integration of third sector organisations, local health and community care providers and Community Mental Health Teams
  • Work to ensure that rural communities have equal and timely access to mental health support and services;
  • A common set of standards or specifications for information, support and care, developed through the Mental Health Quality and Safety Board
  • A review of data to assess what is needed, what can be collected and how it can be best used across mental health
  • A new Suicide Prevention Strategy in advance of the current Suicide Action Plan’s expiry in 2022
  • Integrated support for those with a dual diagnosis of mental health and alcohol and/ or drug addiction.