Rennie: £120m for mental health must lead to "no wrong door"

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie today said there should be no "wrong door" for mental health services as he used a visit to Clackmannanshire to unveil new plans to expand the mental health workforce and get more specialists in more locations.

This week the budget for mental health increased by £120 million thanks to Scottish Liberal Democrats securing the increase in budget negotiations.

The party now proposes to:

  • Double the number of specialist psychiatrists in training for young people
  • Abolish so-called rejected referrals by integrating CAMHS into a new wider system of multi-disciplinary support with safety nets and ladders so that families are never sent back to the start of the process
  • Increase the number of mental health professionals working at GP practices to help meet demand and improve access
  • Provide more walk-in services at mental health emergency centres - similar to A&E - to meet the needs of people in mental health distress or crisis

 

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Rennie pledges to double the number of people training as mental health counsellors

On a visit to Broughty Ferry with mental health activist Ben Lawrie, Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie has today committed to doubling the number of mental health counsellors in training.

The party’s manifesto will commit to: 

  • Double the number of people training on counselling courses;
  • Offer £5,000 grants to students undertaking counselling courses so that a wider range of people are able to train and qualify;
  • Add the counselling profession into NHS workforce planning systems to make surepeople have easier access to talking therapies and early interventions.

Willie Rennie said:  

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Rennie: students and teachers deserve more fairness

Responding to pupil and teachers expressing concerns that they are sitting "exams by another name", Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie commented:

"Fairness to learners was the reason Scottish Liberal Democrats called for this year's exams to be cancelled. That must be at the heart of the replacement system.

"Pupils are telling us a lot is being crammed into a short period of time at short notice. This hasn't been helped by delayed decision making and late guidance.

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Sturgeon still planning referendum during recovery phase

Responding to Nicola Sturgeon's comments on GMS this morning that she wants to hold another referendum “in the recovery phase” of the pandemic, Scottish Liberal Democrat campaign chair Alistair Carmichael MP said:

"Nicola Sturgeon has once again made it very clear that her only priority this election is another independence referendum. This is not what Scotland needs

"Scotland needs a needle-sharp focus on green and secure jobs, a plan to help education bounce back and supporting the NHS and mental health.

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1,700 teachers hit out at FM over casual contracts

1,700 teachers hit out at FM over casual contracts

Responding to a letter to the First Minister from over 1,700 qualified Scottish teachers who are unable to secure permanent employment for the coming year, Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie commented: 

"When I raised this with the First Minister in parliament, I was told it was all fine. But this letter proves that the casualisation of the teaching workforce is a very real problem. 

"Teachers moved mountains during the pandemic. They worked through impossible circumstances, to give children and young people the best education they could. It's a disgrace that thousands now can't be guaranteed a job for them next year. 

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Rennie sets out plans for mental health first aiders in every workplace

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie has today used a campaign stop in Edinburgh to announce a manifesto commitment to support the provision and training of mental health first aiders for every workplace, as he also revealed that training for both new mental health first aiders and instructors has been suspended for over a year.

The proposals are the first in a series of plans to boost mental health that the party will unveil over the coming week.

The training of mental health first aiders is undertaken by Public Health Scotland but was suspended when the pandemic struck, despite concerns that demand for support would soar. This contrasts with England where training never stopped and is instead being delivered as a virtual classroom course.

Under the party’s proposals, an independent specialist body like Mental Health First Aid England would take over the delivery of this scheme. It would ramp up training so that every workplace can benefit from a mental health first aider.

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Rennie sets out plans for equal protection and opportunities

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie has today used a campaign stop at the Edinburgh Hindu Mandir to set out a series of proposals to make a Scotland a more equal and welcoming place for everyone. 

Mr Rennie unveiled a range of commitments designed to stop the inequality and discrimination that rules people out of living their lives to the full. The party will: 

  • Establish a commission to recommend urgent steps to prevent violence against women and girls in all its forms, with cross-party backing;
  • End the harmful practice of sexual orientation and gender identity conversion therapy;
  • Carry out pay audits of government, local government and agencies to provide evidence on unfair disadvantage experienced by ethnic minority and disabled employees, building on the research by Scottish Liberal Democrats showing serious underrepresentation in senior positions in public services;
  • Commit to The Promise and take forward the findings of Scotland's Independent Care Review to fully support care experienced children, young people and adults.

Willie Rennie said: 

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“Experienced and compassionate” Rennie will put recovery first

Speaking after tonight’s leader’s debate, campaign chair Alistair Carmichael MP said:

“What people have seen tonight is that Willie Rennie is the experienced and compassionate leader that Scotland needs.

“Whenever he spoke he was authoritative and made the case to put the recovery first. From BiFab to jobs in the North East, from mental health to education, he was speaking up for people in Scotland.

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Cole-Hamilton: After months of sacrifices its time for a recovery plan

Responding to the First Minister's covid briefing, Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton said:

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Carmichael: Nationalist psychodrama puts recovery last

Responding to the First Minister’s interview in the Daily Record, Scottish Liberal Democrat campaign chair Alistair Carmichael MP said:

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