Commenting on a new report from the National Suicide Prevention Leadership Group which issues a warning about the impact of the virus crisis on mental health and wellbeing, Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP said:
“Many people during this period have felt anxious, isolated, experienced grief or had to deal with other distressing events.
"Before the virus hit we already had people waiting up to two years for mental health treatment. The last annual statistics, which included a long period where the Scottish Government let its strategy expire, showed a 15% increase in probable suicides and a 50% increase among young people.
“We’ve seen before the horrendous consequences when services don't have the funding or resources they need. I really worry what added toll the virus is having and about the potential for a tidal wave.
“The National Suicide Prevention Leadership Group is right to raise the alarm. The Scottish Government needs to put in place a transformative plan to both meet the pre-crisis backlog of people waiting for help and the likelihood of heightened demand. That should start with picking up the pace on workforce expansion."