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News 2020

02/09/20 – Scottish Action on Mental Health


Helen Clark, Campaign Manager for the Child Mental Health Charter Campaign, has asked readers of this site to write to their MP to demand that the UK government sets out a strategy for children’s mental health as of urgency after Boris Johnson and two Cabinet Ministers ignored the issue when MPs returned to Westminster.

After the Summer Recess, the UK Parliament and the Scottish Parliament went ‘back to business’.

During the course of her address to the Scottish Parliament, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon included the passage below on her plans for Mental Health in the new session:

A central commitment in last year’s programme for government was major reform and expansion of mental health services. This year’s programme continues that journey. Again, we will build on the approaches that were adopted during the pandemic. During lockdown, the reach of the distress brief intervention programme was expanded.

That provides support for people in distress who contact emergency services but who do not need emergency clinical help. Evaluations have shown that such an approach saves lives. I can therefore confirm that we will expand the distress brief interventions programme across every part of Scotland.

We will also work with health boards to retain the mental health assessment centres that were established during the pandemic, and we will deliver the major expansion of mental health support for children and young people that was announced in last year’s programme for government.’

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon

Yesterday, Prime Minster, Boris Johnson gave a televised address to the Cabinet. Secretary of State for Education, Gavin Williamson addressed the House of Commons as did Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care.

Children’s mental health was not mentioned at all.

Helen Clark said:

Nicola Sturgeon has not got ‘the answer’ – but at least she is trying to find it! The UK government by contrast is behaving like an ostrich and refusing to even acknowledge the problem.

I am calling upon readers to write to their MPs and demand that a strategy is issued without delay. Silence on this issue is not ‘golden’ – it is a total and utter disgrace.’

Helen Clark, /Campaign Manager, Child Mental Health Charter