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

Responding to the appointment of Clare Haughey MSP as minister for Mental Health in Scotland, Lee Knifton, Head of the Mental Health Foundation Scotland, 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 wellbeing 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."