2nd February 2017
Today MSPs are to hold their first formal vote on the Scottish government's budget bill.
Commenting ahead of the Scottish Budget Stage 1 vote, Billy Watson SAMH Chief Executive said:
‘Last year, all of Scotland’s main political parties signed up to back SAMH’s Ask Once Get Help Fast approach to mental health. SAMH has been heartened by this support, and it would be a lost opportunity if we were unable to secure greater investment in mental health for this budget.
‘There are many areas where we can make quick improvements using creative approaches to deploying resources, such as by investing in early intervention for children and young people, where we are seeing increasing demand year on year.
‘With a new ten-year strategy due for publication in the coming days, we hope the Scottish Government will take the chance to put mental health at the heart of this budget.’
The Draft Budget sets out the Scottish Government’s spending plans for 2017-18 and a strategic vision for Scotland’s public finances over the Spending Review period to 2019-20.
This is the first time MSPs will debate the draft budget, and vote on whether they agree to the general principles set out in the bill.