On the eve of Mental Health Week, the Scottish Liberal Democrats have set out new steps the Scottish Government should take to improve the mental health of the nation in the wake of coronavirus. Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP has said we must "be prepared for the scale of the challenge" as we "emerge from the shadow of the virus".
The Liberal Democrats are calling on the Scottish Government to:
- Save lives and create safer workplaces by getting a mental health first aider into every workplace.
- Publish a robust new new plan to allow recovery of rehabilitation services and tackle the backlog of patients waiting for mental health therapy.
- Guarantee that health and social care staff will get the immediate help they need without any delays.
Commenting on the proposals Alex Cole-Hamilton said:
"We must be prepared for the scale of the challenge mental health services will face as we emerge from the shadow of this virus.
"That is why the Scottish Liberal Democrats have set out fresh measures to strengthen mental health services this Mental Health Week.
"We want to support the mental health of frontline health and social care workers. We want to give every workplace in Scotland the protection of a trained mental health first-aider, and we want the Scottish Government to develop a clear plan to catch up with the backlog of mental health services and cope with a surge in new demands coming out of the crisis.
"Waiting times for mental health treatment were already appalling before this crisis began, hundreds of children and young people were left waiting well over a year for help. Now that people's life plans have been thrown up in the air, many people have lost loved ones and others have been negatively affected by long periods of isolation the need to provide timely care is even more acute.
"I urge the Mental Health Minister to implement these plans now, so we have a fighting chance of being able to help everyone who needs it as soon as they need it."