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Hume: Support needed to tackle Scotland's mental health challenge

March 15, 2013 8:10 PM
Originally published by Scottish Liberal Democrats

Jim Hume MSP has called on Ministers to boost investment in mentalJim HumeJim Hume health support and work to widen access to talking therapies across Scotland.

Mr Hume was commenting after Scottish Liberal Democrat conference passed a motion calling on the Scottish Government to work with NHS boards to support GPs and take action to reduce the stigma often attached to mental health problems.

Speaking after the debate, Mr Hume said:

"One in four people will experience mental illness at some point in their life meaning we all know at least one sufferer. The anguish it can cause to sufferers and their families is dreadful.

"Too many people are still too afraid to talk openly about their condition and this can only heighten their suffering. We must continue to break down barriers and tackle the stigma in all sections of society that continues to exist around mental ill health.

"Mental illness is a serious condition which requires serious action. The Scottish Government's 'Mental Health Strategy' and introduction of a HEAT target is welcome but they will count for little unless the unfair postcode lottery for accessing psychological therapy is tackled.

"The Scottish Government must do more. They can begin by following the UK Government's lead in widening access to talking therapies and by expanding on impressive pilots in Glasgow which looked to address the explosion in the use of anti-depressants.

"Only by taking such action will we see Scotland's disproportionate suicide rates come into line with the rest of the UK."