28th April 2021
Demand for mental health information doubles during pandemic
We are calling for a radical new plan as calls to our information service double.
In recent months we have seen unprecedented demand for our information service. We are calling on the next Scottish Government to act now so that no one is left without support when they need it.
Over the course of the pandemic, our information service saw a significant increase in demand, with almost 1500 additional callers compared to the previous year, close to a 50% increase. And demand for online information also rose, with a 55% increase in downloads of our resource, Understanding Anxiety.
Jo Anderson, Director of Influence and Change at SAMH, said:
“Our information service is designed to offer quality assured mental health information and signposting. We’re experiencing a marked increase in enquiries, with more people seeking emotional support, sometimes at crisis point, and an increase in callers expressing suicidal thoughts.
“This paints a picture of a national mental health system across Scotland that is under strain. Even before the pandemic people were waiting too long for help. There is quite simply not enough support available, people do not know where to turn so they are coming to our information service looking for help that it is not designed to offer.
“There have been too many promises on mental health and not enough action, with the added pressure brought about by the pandemic, we need a radical new plan This is why we are calling on our next Scottish Government to Stand Up for Scotland’s Mental Health, with a radical new plan focused on improving access to support”..
Informed by over 2,500 people across Scotland our manifesto makes it clear that Scotland’s mental health deserves better. Our calls include; an increase in psychological support, to make access to support easier and quicker without the need referral, better support for our children and young people, and real action on suicide prevention.
To find out more about Standing Up for Scotland’s Mental Health and how you can help to drive real change for mental health, visit samh.org.uk/standup