Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP has today accused the First Minister of not following through her words with actions when it comes to mental health, as the promise to put mental health on a par with physical health has failed to materialise. The comments follow the First Minister’s programme for government speech where she dedicated merely one sentence to mental health.
Commenting Mr Cole-Hamilton said:
“On Tuesday, with just a meagre 27 words out of thousands on mental health, the First Minister has completely let down those in desperate need to see improvements in mental health care. Those north of Dundee having to travel hundreds of miles to reach the care units they need and patients waiting 1200 days to be discharged from a secure unit have been let down.
“The damming reception for the delayed mental health strategy, has been underscored by the reality that there is still no replacement for the suicide strategy which expired in December. And yet, this summer we learn of an 8% increase in people taking their own life in this country.
“How many scandalous statistics do we have to see before the Scottish Government sit up and make the transformational investment that is required? Warm words won't make up for an unambitious mental health strategy.
"Liberal Democrats have consistently told the SNP Government that only a step change in mental health will make the difference, with new child mental health services across Scotland and new staff in every GP practice and A&E available to deliver treatments.”