Scottish Government
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Work to improve mental health

Mental health services in Scotland should put individuals, their families and carers at the centre of care and treatment, Michael Matheson said today.

The Public Health Minister was speaking on a visit to the Edinburgh Crisis Centre - which provides community-based support for people using mental health services in Edinburgh and their carers - to mark the launch of a consultation on the Scottish Government's Mental Health Strategy for the next four years.

For the first time the draft strategy brings together all mental health improvement and prevention work into one document and sets out 14 high level outcomes aimed at increasing people's understanding of their own mental health so that they can seek action or seek help, ensuring care and treatment is delivered safely and efficiently and understanding the role of families and their carers.

Mr Matheson said:

"Significant progress is being made in promoting positive mental health, preventing problems and improving mental health services across Scotland. For example, we have seen a reduction in psychiatric inpatient readmissions, an increase in the number of people with dementia who have their diagnosis recorded by their GP and an overall reduction in suicide rates since 2000-02.

"We now want to deliver increasingly joined-up and systematic mental health services, which enable people to keep well and take responsibility for their mental health.

"The Edinburgh Crisis Centre is an excellent example of this, delivering community based mental health support for adults in crisis. It demonstrates the benefits of delivering services in partnership with health and social care providers, service users and carers, and the third sector to meet the needs of vulnerable people, close to their own local communities.

"We are now seeking views on a programme of work for the next four years. We want to build on the successful mental health promotion, prevention and recovery work of recent years, ensure that people who experience mental health problems know how to access help and enable services to intervene quickly - putting the person, their family and carers at the centre of care and treatment."

Linda Irvine, Strategic Programme Manager for Mental Health and Wellbeing, NHS Lothian, said:

"We welcome the consultation on the national strategy. Undertaking consultation with all relevant parties will help to ensure continued improvements in mental health services which are both integrated and inclusive."

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