Mental Health Foundation Scotland responds to Scottish Government Budget

Responding to the Scottish Government’s budget announced today (Wed 12 December), The Mental Health Foundation Scotland has welcomed the "shift in the balance of spend towards mental health" but has warned that the real shift must be towards preventative spending to turn the tide on child mental ill health.  

The charity has welcomed the real terms increase in investment in education but has warned that sticking plaster solutions won't work and that funding must be urgently directed towards the health and wellbeing strand of Curriculum for Excellence. 

Key Mental Health announcements: 

  • Increasing the health portfolio resource budget by almost £730 million.
  • Deliver a further shift in the balance of spend towards mental health and primary, community and social care by increasing spending by £700 million in 2019/2020.
  • Increasing direct investment in mental health services by £27 million, which takes overall budget for mental health to £1.1 billion.

Toni Giuliano, Policy and Public Affairs Manager at MHF Scotland said:

"We welcome the “shift in the balance of spend towards mental health” however the focus is still very much on services and treatment. The “balance of spending” must be shifted towards preventative, public health measures in schools, workplaces, primary healthcare and the justice system that support people at a much earlier stage.

"We welcome the Scottish Government's priority to close the attainment gap but it must recognise that nurturing emotionally literate and resilient children is crucial to achieving that goal, which we outlined recently in the launch of our 'Make it Count' campaign.  It’s time to invest in the Health and Wellbeing strand of the curriculum and put greater focus on self-care, stress management and addressing the root causes of emotional distress. Sticking plaster solutions won’t work. Only investment in prevention will result in fewer children in crisis, shorter waiting lists and reduced pressures on the NHS.”