Rise in mental health detentions skipping key safeguard

Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP has today warned that the rights of people with mental ill health are at risk after a new report revealed that just 4 in 10 mental health detentions were carried out with the consent of specialist staff.

Figures published by the Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland reveal that just 43.8% of emergency detentions in Scotland between March 2020 and February this year were carried out with the consent of a specialist mental health social worker. The report also notes that there were 9.1% more detentions compared with the previous year, with 10,059 records of people with mental ill health deemed to need urgent treatment in crisis situations.

Commenting on the report, Mr Cole-Hamilton said:

"Peoples' rights have been breached year after year because of the scandalous under-provision of every type of mental health staff. It’s small wonder that the UN Committee on the Rights with People with disabilities should repeatedly upbraid Scotland on the Government’s record here.

"The detention of thousands of Scots without the consent of specialist mental health staff shines a spotlight on how this country has let down some of our most vulnerable citizens.

"Scottish Liberal Democrats have put forward plans for training thousands of additional mental health professionals and counsellors to ensure that people get the support they need backed by proper safeguards. We need to turn a corner and make Scotland a country that truly treats mental health with the same importance as physical health."




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