Liberal Democrats have today promised transformational investment in mental health services and to provide the staff and facilities to create the service the public needs.
Christine Jardine, the Lib Dem Home Affairs, Women and Equalities spokesperson, laid out the party’s plan for mental health services as she visited Vintage Vibes, an Edinburgh charity whose work helps to tackle isolation and loneliness.
The Liberal Democrats will:
- Treat mental health as seriously as physical health
- Expand the mental health workforce, ending the waiting times scandal
- Establish fast access to talking therapies through a new mental health practitioner for every GP practice, providing one million additional treatment sessions each year
- Create new 24-hour mental health practitioner coverage in every A&E and police division
- End long journeys for treatment, ensuring young people and new mothers especially can get the care they need close to home.
Christine Jardine said:
“Sadly we see our hardworking NHS staff and resources being further stretched every day and that is nowhere more evident than in mental health services.
“Waiting times for mental health services are completely unacceptable with people having to wait anything up to 2 years, while the targets for treating both children and adults have never been met.
“While the SNP have been focusing on independence, our mental health services have suffered.
“The Scottish Government’s flagship strategy was 15 months late, delaying critical decisions and investment. It went without a suicide strategy for more than 500 days. Services are hundreds of staff short.
“That’s why the Liberal Democrats are dedicated to transforming mental health services and treating it with the same urgency as physical health.”