Orkney’s MSP Liam McArthur spoke out today about the “crisis” in mental health across Scotland, despite the best efforts of those working in the sector, and called for more staff to support police and A&E teams who are bearing the brunt.
Mr McArthur was responding to a statement in the Scottish Parliament from minister Maree Todd about the Scottish Government’s new mental health delivery plan. He pointed to the £50m cut to the mental health budget last winter and criticised the government for merely promising “more working groups, more reviews, and more plans for future plans”.
Commenting afterwards, Mr McArthur said:
“Mental health services are at breaking point across the country, with police and A&E teams often left picking up the pieces.
“More funding is essential, not just to help manage emergencies and cut waiting lists, but to ensure better support is available when and where it is needed. This is the most effective way of helping people maintain or improve their mental health and reducing the pressure on services and budgets.
“Ministers were slow to acknowledge the extent of the current crisis. While investment has been made, it still falls far short of what is required. The delivery plan is welcome, but it lacks detail and includes too much ‘talk about talks’. Those caught up in this mental health crisis, whether patients or staff, need and deserve a greater sense of urgency from the government.”