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Mental health top priority for Scottish Government

Mental health services in Scotland are set to be improved through major developments announced yesterday.

They include:

  • A new early diagnosis of dementia target for NHS Scotland.
  • Setting up of Mental Health Collaborative.
  • Launch of guidance on support for people with substance misuse and mental health problems.

Speaking at the "One Year On" mental health conference in Edinburgh yesterday, the Minister for Public Health Shona Robison said:

"Mental health is a top priority for the Scottish Government.

"Today's new announcement aims to see more people with dementia diagnosed at the earliest opportunity. This will ensure families have time to plan, prepare and enjoy their lives as much as possible.

"We will be looking to NHS Boards to achieve agreed improvements by March 2011.

"I am also delighted to announce that the Mental Health Collaborative will be up and running next year, with the appointment of a new national programme manager to take forward the work.

"The new appointee will be working across the NHS to drive change around two of the current targets for mental health, including prescribing of antidepressants and reducing by 10% the number of people who get readmitted into acute psychiatric units.

"Meanwhile, the guidance on support for people with substance misuse and mental health problems will bring about a better coordinated approach.

"The report sets out a framework for key agencies, locally and nationally, to work together, and improve awareness and support for patients and their families dealing with substance misuse and mental health problems."

The Scottish Government