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£30 million mental health funding

Further community support for adults, children and young people.

Two funds to support projects aimed at improving mental health and wellbeing in adults, children and young people have been awarded a further £30 million.

The Communities Mental Health and Wellbeing Fund for Adults, and the Children and Young People’s Community Mental Health and Wellbeing Supports, have been awarded £15 million each for 2024-25.

Launched in 2021, the fund for adults has supported grass roots community groups to deliver programmes for adults which build resilience and tackle social isolation, loneliness and mental health inequalities. Projects focused on connecting people and providing peer support were delivered through activities such as sport, outdoor activities and the arts.

Funding for the children and young people’s support began in 2020 to help with the mental health impact of the pandemic and its restrictions. The new funding means more than £65 million has been made available to local authorities since then to deliver community-based mental health and wellbeing support for five to 24 year-olds and their families. Support delivered includes mentoring, art-based therapies, digital services, whole-family support, counselling and sport or physical activities.

First Minister Humza Yousaf, who visited Edinburgh Community Performing Arts Re-connect project for older people, yesterday said:

“On becoming First Minister I reiterated my personal commitment to supporting those living with mental health challenges. We know how important it is for our society to have access to mental health and wellbeing support. That is why my government is committed to ensuring we fund vital services in our health service and in community settings to ensure we try, as much as possible, to provide a national network of community support for adults, children and young people.

“This further £30 million will fund community based projects which are focused on prevention and early intervention, and this is a significant step forward in supporting people’s mental health and wellbeing by making sure they can easily access the help they need, when and where they need it.

“Since 2020 the Scottish Government has invested over £100 million in community-based mental health support. An independent evaluation published last year shows that projects for adults have lowered social isolation thereby alleviating some of the negative mental and physical health impacts from the pandemic, as well as providing support and self-help for individuals with ill mental health issues.

“More than 300 children and young people’s supports and services are in now in place across the country, and evaluation published by the Scottish Youth Parliament found that nearly three-quarters of young people agreed or strongly agreed that they received support when they needed it.”


This funding is part of the direct programme budget allocated for mental health as part of the 2024-25 budget. Through the 2024-25 budget the Scottish Government and NHS Boards will continue to spend in excess of £1.3 billion for mental health. 

Within the first two years, the Communities Mental Health and Wellbeing Fund for Adults has provided around 3,300 grants to community organisations delivering mental health and wellbeing support. An independent evaluation of Year 1 of the Fund was published in July 2023 and shows that 1,842 projects delivered a range of community supports to an estimated 300,000 people across Scotland.

In the first half of last year, more than 58,000 children, young people and their family members accessed the Children and Young People’s Community Mental Health and Wellbeing Supports and Services.

The latest funding allocations to both the Communities Mental Health and Wellbeing Fund for Adults, and the Children and Young People’s Community Mental Health and Wellbeing Supports, brings the total investment in community-based mental health to over £130 million since 2020.

Edinburgh Community Performing Arts is a project funded through the Communities Mental Health and Wellbeing Fund for Adults that delivers free weekly creative movement and dance classes for older people, particularly those with Dementia, Parkinson’s and/or restricted movement.


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