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Rennie: £120m for mental health must lead to "no wrong door"

April 3, 2021 11:00 AM
Originally published by Scottish Liberal Democrats

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie today said there should be no "wrong door" for mental health services as he used a visit to Clackmannanshire to unveil new plans to expand the mental health workforce and get more specialists in more locations.

This week the budget for mental health increased by £120 million thanks to Scottish Liberal Democrats securing the increase in budget negotiations.

The party now proposes to:

  • Double the number of specialist psychiatrists in training for young people
  • Abolish so-called rejected referrals by integrating CAMHS into a new wider system of multi-disciplinary support with safety nets and ladders so that families are never sent back to the start of the process
  • Increase the number of mental health professionals working at GP practices to help meet demand and improve access
  • Provide more walk-in services at mental health emergency centres - similar to A&E - to meet the needs of people in mental health distress or crisis

Willie Rennie said:

"This week the budget for mental health increased by £120 million thanks to the Scottish Liberal Democrats. This is a serious intervention and should be the start of changes that mean there is no wrong door in the mental health system.

"It builds on the other changes I've secured in this Parliament: the recent declaration of a mental health crisis, the appointment of a mental health minister for the first time, and the first batch of new staff for GP surgeries, A&E, prisons and the police.

"I've lost count of the number of times families have told me of their struggles to get help. Every time it is heart-breaking. Even before the pandemic our research found children and adults waiting up to two years for treatment which must feel like a lifetime.

"The situation is now so serious that it demands the full weight of the Scottish Liberal Democrat proposals and a government that will put recovery first without distraction."

ENDS