Scottish Liberal Democrats have plans to improve our nation’s mental health, support people with addictions to recover and improve maternal mental health while catching up with diagnoses and treatments.
In West Lothian up to 20% of young people in crisis wait over a year to see a specialist. By the time they’re on the road to recovery, a third of their secondary education has gone. The impact on learning and life chances is huge.
We’ve already persuaded the Scottish Parliament to declare a mental health crisis and secured an extra £120 million for mental health services.
We plan to put 15% of all new health spending into training more psychologists and psychiatrists. We’ll double the number of counsellors in training and pay them a £5000 expenses grant.
We’ll ensure that workplaces, schools and community centres have mental health specialists available and will expand training for mental health first aid and suicide prevention.
Evidence proves that to reduce our tragically high drug-related death rate, we must take a compassionate, public health focused approach. We will divert those caught in possession of drugs into properly resourced education, treatment and recovery. We will use emergency funding so they keep their homes while being treated.
We will improve maternal mental health with better screening and referral to peer support. Those suffering perinatal loss will be treated in dedicated facilities, not suffer the agony of using labour wards.
This urgent work can’t wait for an independence referendum. The recovery of the NHS comes first.
Caron Lindsay, Scottish Liberal Democrats candidate for Almond Valley
This article first appeared in the West Lothian Courier