Rutherglen Liberal Democrat Scottish Parliament candidate Sheila Thomson wants to ensure there should be no "wrong door" for mental health following on from the Scottish Liberal Democrats securing £120 million budget for mental health in the recent Scottish budget.
The Liberal Democrats have unveiled new plans to expand the mental health workforce and get more specialists in more locations.
The party proposes to:
- Double the number of specialist psychiatrists in training for young people
- Abolish so-called rejected referrals by integrating CAMHS into a new wider system of multi-disciplinary support with safety nets and ladders so that families are never sent back to the start of the process
- Increase the number of mental health professionals working at GP practices to help meet demand and improve access
- Provide more walk-in services at mental health emergency centres - similar to A&E - to meet the needs of people in mental health distress or crisis
Sheila Thomson said:
"The budget for mental health increased by £120 million thanks to the Scottish Liberal Democrats. This is a serious intervention and should be the start of changes that mean there is no wrong door in the mental health system.
"It builds on the other changes Scottish Liberal Democrat MSPs secured in the last Parliament: the recent declaration of a mental health crisis, the appointment of a mental health minister for the first time, and the first batch of new staff for GP surgeries, A&E, prisons and the police.
"I'm concerned by the number of individuals and families who have told me of their struggles to get help. Each one is heart-breaking. Even before the pandemic our research found children and adults waiting up to two years for treatment which must feel like a lifetime.