The Mental Health Foundation responded to the Scottish Government’s Call for Evidence, part of a review of the National Outcomes, to highlight how these Outcomes can better support national mental health and wellbeing.
What are the National Outcomes?
The National Performance Framework sets out the Scottish Government’s vision for Scotland. It is made up of National Outcomes which cover priority areas including health, community poverty, education, economy, human rights and more. Each Outcome is supported by a set of data-based indicators which track whether performance in this area is improving, worsening or maintaining. Legislation requires that the National Outcomes are reviewed at least every 5 years.
What changes are we calling for?
We are broadly supportive of the current National Outcomes but there are areas where these could be made stronger, to better support population-wide mental health and wellbeing and reduce inequalities.
We called for:
- The development of a new Mental Health and Wellbeing Outcome with a focus on preventing mental ill health and reducing health inequalities. Or, if a new outcome isn’t created, updating the existing Health Outcome to include an explicit commitment to mental health and wellbeing.
- An updated Communities Outcome to ensure with a focus on fostering connectedness – reflecting the important of social connections to mental health and wellbeing – and a commitment to equalities so that all people from all demographics, identities and cultures have a positive experience of community, free from discrimination or stigma.
- An updated Education Outcome that recognises and support the role of education in supporting mental and emotional health.
- An updated and ambitious Poverty Outcome that supports action across policy areas to eradicate policy and ensures that income support and other anti-poverty measures are non-stigmatising.
- An updated Human Rights Outcome that recognises the importance of community empowerment for promoting health and wellbeing and supports commitments outlined in Scotland’s second National Human Rights Action Plan (SNAP 2).
We have also called for new and updated Outcomes to be supported by robust data-based indicators that will build up a more comprehensive picture of mental health and wellbeing in Scotland. This data should support policy-makers, nationally and locally, to make evidence-based decisions to prevent mental health problems and inequalities and support the best possible mental health and wellbeing for people and communities.