Scottish Liberal Democrat Leader Willie Rennie used his question at FMQs today to lambast the government for its “record of shame” on mental health and call for investment in perinatal mental health services across the country.
New research by the Maternal Mental Health Alliance has revealed Scotland is trailing behind the rest of the UK in terms of new investment in mental health services for new and expecting mothers and the provision of local specialist services.
New mothers in half of Scotland cannot access specialist services. There is no provision in Tayside, Fife, Dumfries and Galloway, the Western Isles and Orkney and Shetland. Only Glasgow meets the required standard in the whole of Scotland.
Speaking afterwards, Willie Rennie said:
“Mental health treatment has become a source of shame for the SNP. The new report from the Maternal Mental Health Alliance shows the Scottish Government is failing mothers and their children.
“Despite years of warning that perinatal mental health services were slipping, the Scottish Government has watched on as all but one of Scotland’s health boards have failed to meet the required standards.
“Perinatal mental health services are an essential element of mother and baby health and neglecting them can have devastating consequences. The tragedy of suicide remains the main cause of maternal deaths.
“The SNP’s record on mental health is appalling. Liberal Democrats have laid out clear plans to end the scandal of long waits and long journeys for mental health treatment. Nothing less is acceptable.”