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Finding out that mental health progress was worse than we thought – one of the reasons Scottish Liberal Democrats voted against the SNP’s budget

You English were so lucky to have Norman Lamb and before him Paul Burstow as Health Ministers with mental health in their portfolios. In Scotland, we haven’t made the progress you have – even though I know that yours is nowhere near enough. We don’t have the parity between physical and mental health that Norman Lamb and Nick Clegg drove through, even in principle.

During negotiations on this year’s Scottish Budget, Willie Rennie discovered that the mental health situation in Scotland was much worse than even he had thought. He told activists yesterday at the Kickstart training day in Perth:

Look at the terrible record of this SNP Government on mental health.

They let the share of the budget spent on mental health drop by their own admission for years.

The SNP let its mental health strategy lapse in 2015 with no replacement in place.

Young people still have to wait more than a year for treatment.

It became clear during our budget discussions with them that the SNP Government is much further behind on mental health even than we feared.

The SNP were simply unable to make the changes to their budget towards what we know is important for mental health. We wanted a doubling of services for young people, comprehensive support at GP surgeries and comprehensive cover.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 2 Comments
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