Our response to the appointment of new Scottish Minister for Mental Health

27th Jun 2018
Influencing policies
Young people

This content mentions suicide or suicidal thoughts. Please read with care. There are details of where to find help at the bottom of this page.

Responding to the appointment of Clare Haughey MSP as minister for Mental Health in Scotland, Lee Knifton, Director of Scotland and Northern Ireland, said:

"The Mental Health Foundation congratulates Clare Haughey MSP on her appointment as Minister for Mental Health – her background as a mental health nurse will bring much valuable experience to the role, and we look forward to working together towards a mentally healthier and more resilient Scotland.

"We take this opportunity to wish Maureen Watt, Shona Robison and Angela Constance well for the future and thank them respectively for engaging with our programmes and campaigns and many of the issues that we presented to them.

"Mental health is one of the greatest public health challenges of our time. Our young people are living with alarming rates of distress. Suicide still claims, on average, two lives per day. Our chronic stress levels are leading to serious physical and mental health conditions. Stigma is still present in many sectors of our society. Poverty and inequality are still the biggest causes of mental ill-health, and services are struggling to cope with the number of people coming forward for help.

"That's why we argue that prevention must be at the heart of any strategy to improve mental well-being and reduce the causes of mental ill-health.

"We are clear that whilst we are delighted to have a dedicated Minister for Mental Health, only a 'mental health in all policies' approach will deliver the changes we all want to see.

"For this reason, we look forward to a collaborative relationship across government - from justice to social security, from education to public health and wish the new team of Ministers well."

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If you are feeling like ending your life or feel unable to keep yourself safe, please call 999 or go to A&E and ask for the contact of the nearest crisis resolution team. These are teams of mental health care professionals who work with people in severe distress. If you feel affected by the content you have read, please see our get help page for support.

A-Z Topic: Suicidal thoughts

If you’re feeling suicidal, you’re not alone: one in five of us think about suicide in our lifetimes. Remember that these feelings won’t last. There is help available to keep you safe now and to help with the problems that may be causing your suicidal feelings.

Prevention and mental health

Prevention is an important approach to improving mental health. It means stopping mental health problems from developing, getting worse or coming back.

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