SNP Budget takes mental health spending to over £1.1billion


MSP for Greenock and Inverclyde, Stuart McMillan, has welcomed direct investment in mental health services in the Scottish Budget, which will increase by £139m and take overall spending in mental health to over £1.1 billion.

Finance Secretary Kate Forbes confirmed that the Scottish Government will be making £15 million available to support the continued establishment of local mental health services.

An additional £500,000 will also be made available to health boards this financial year to provide dedicated mental health support for health and social care staff during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The Samaritans said they “welcome the recognition by the Scottish Government of the impact of Covid-19 on Scotland’s mental health and wellbeing in [the] Scottish Budget. We are pleased to see this recognition matched with an increase in direct investment in mental health services.”

Commenting, Stuart said: 

“This Covid-19 pandemic has had a profound effect on many people’s mental health – and it’s welcome that the Scottish Government has recognised this and committed to investing over £1.1billion into mental health services.

“Lockdown restrictions, although vital for stopping the spread of the virus, have themselves had a negative impact on many people’s health and wellbeing, with more people experiencing financial insecurity alongside social isolation and the anxiety of living through a pandemic. 

“As such, mental health support is an absolute priority for this SNP Government, and this Budget supports overall mental health spending of more than £1.1 billion, which will contribute hugely to our recovery from the pandemic in Inverclyde.

“This is a significant step forward in the SNP government’s package of measures to improve the mental health support available for children, young people and adults across Scotland.”

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