Ruth Maguire MSP has welcomed the Scottish Government’s confirmation of a new plan will help ensure mental health and wellbeing remains at the heart of the response to coronavirus (COVID-19).

The plan will focus efforts on key groups affected by the pandemic, among them are young people, those facing redundancy, and people with long-term physical health conditions and disabilities.

As well as promoting good mental health and wellbeing, the plan prioritises quick and easily accessible support for those in distress and ensures safe, effective treatment and care of people living with mental illness. A tailored programme of work will help individual NHS Boards respond effectively to the anticipated increase in demand in the months ahead.

This builds on innovations and new service designs that have emerged in response to the pandemic, such as the ‘Clear Your Head ’campaign, the expansion of digital services and the establishment of Mental Health Assessment Centres.

The SNP MSP for Cunninghame South said: “Everyone over the past six months will have struggled to varying extents with their mental health due to the current pandemic.

“It’s assuring that the Scottish Government is taking the impact that our path to recovery from this global health crisis has had on mental wellbeing seriously.

“Above all else, please don’t suffer in silence if you are struggling. Reach out to a loved one or seek assistance from your GP who will be able to listen and support you as we get through this period together.”

Announcing the plan to parliament, Mental Health Minister Clare Haughey said: “If the past few weeks have told us anything, it is that the road to recovery from this pandemic will not be linear. However, one thing that has remained constant is the importance of looking after ourselves, and of keeping well.

“I doubt there is a single one of us who hasn’t thought about our mental wellbeing, or worried about that of others, at some point during 2020.

“Throughout this year, mental health has continued to be an absolute priority for this government, and we’ve invested £6 million of dedicated funding to support the whole population.

“Our Transition and Recovery Plan for Mental Health reflects how fundamental this issue is. It is comprehensive, containing over a hundred actions, and focusses on the specific mental health needs of everyone across Scotland.”

Mental Health – Scotland’s Transition and Recovery is available on the Scottish Government’s website.

https://clearyourhead.scot/ contains a variety of resources and tips to help people take care of their mental health and wellbeing.

For those who need more support the Scottish Government has expanded the NHS24 Mental Health Hub so that it is now available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and increased the capacity of the Breathing Space telephone helpline (0800 83 85 87) and web support service.

The Mental Health Foundation’s vision is good mental health for all. The Foundation works to prevent mental health problems and drive change towards a mentally healthy society for all, and support communities, families and individuals to lead mentally healthy lives with a particular focus on those at greatest risk. The Foundation is the home of Mental Health Awareness Week