Commenting on new analysis from the Red Cross showing that loneliness has had a negative impact on over a third of Scots' mental health, Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP said:
"For far many Scots the curse of loneliness is taking a toll on their mental wellbeing.
"Mental health services in Scotland were already stretched before the pandemic. Now I am concerned that they are on the brink of being completely overrun. The Scottish Government must give real heft to a mental health recovery plan.
"I would also urge everyone to check in on their friends and neighbours. A kind word can make a massive difference in these difficult times. It also shows the importance of not overlooking the wider harm occurring because of covid, and ensuring public health measures take this into account."