Part Three of our Plan for the Future
The Liberal Democrats will treat mental health with the same urgency as physical health
The NHS may be the envy of the world, but our mental health service is not. People are struggling. When they turn for help, it is often not there. Problems that can start small, become crises as help is either not available, or arrives too late.
Waiting times for mental health services are long. The targets for treating children and adults have never been met. People are waiting up to two years for the help they need, and for young people that must feel like a lifetime.
That’s why the Liberal Democrats are dedicated to transforming mental health services and treating it with the same urgency as physical health.
"We want to break down the barriers of stigma and shame, which leave those suffering, alienated and isolated, and we want to make the UK a world leader in keeping our nation well with our push for greater emphasis on wellbeing.”
As part of our Plan for the Future, a Liberal Democrat government will commit extra funding to transform our mental health services in Scotland. This would enable the creation of new services, operating 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Our plan for mental health is to:
- Expand the mental health workforce, ending the waiting times scandal
- Treat mental health as seriously as physical health
- 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.
Liberal Democrats have led the campaign for better mental health in Scotland. The Liberal Democrat government will invest so that mental health services can be there for everyone who needs them.
While the SNP have been obsessing over 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. The head of the Scottish civil service warned the SNP Government that their referendum planning would mean “de-prioritisation” of domestic policy.
Meanwhile Brexit, either carried out by the Conservatives or Labour Party, will only make a bad situation much worse.
Our commitment will ensure a brighter future for patients and staff, and keep our NHS safe from the hands of Donald Trump.