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Lib Dems ask Parliament to declare a mental health crisis

February 17, 2021 10:00 AM
Originally published by Scottish Liberal Democrats

Scottish Liberal Democrats will this afternoon ask the Scottish Parliament to declare a mental health emergency.

The party will argue that it is essential for Parliament to recognise this so that services and interventions can be ramped up to meet the challenge.

It comes after Parliament voted down the party's previous attempt in 2019 to declare a mental health crisis.

Scottish Liberal Democrat mental health spokesperson Rebecca Bell commented:

"People are struggling. When they turn for help, it is often not there. Problems that can start small, become crises as help is either lacking or arrives too late. Waiting times for mental health services are long and the targets for treating people have never been met.

"That was true before the pandemic, but the situation is now even graver. Sadly with resources vastly outstripped by the demands on services from those who need mental health treatment, departments are forced to focus solely on the acute end of the scale. that means more people are left sick for longer, and just getting worse. We need to aim for prevention as well so fewer people suffer mental ill health in the first place

"We need a transformative investment in mental health, new services which can be quickly accessed locally, and to end the waits of up to two years for help. But that won't happen unless Parliament first accepts that there is a mental health crisis.

"The Scottish Government voted in 2019 to delete this declaration. As a result, services went into the pandemic still in a weak position.

"Just like the climate crisis, fixing the problem starts with accepting that there is a problem. I hope Parliament will finally do that this afternoon."

ENDS