SAMH comment on Programme for Government

4th September 2018

SAMH (Scottish Association for Mental Health) welcomes today’s Programme for Government, which pays greater attention to mental health than any Scottish Government programme has done before.

We are delighted to see a commitment to introduce counselling in all secondary schools, and to offer all teachers training in mental health. We would like to thank the thousands of our Going to Be campaign supporters across Scotland who came together to make this an issue of ultimate importance for Scotland.

SAMH was pleased to work on the audit of Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services, published in June 2018. There was strong evidence of a gap in services for children and young people who did not meet the criteria for the most specialist help.  We are glad to see a commitment to new community mental wellbeing services for 5-24 year olds, which will provide immediate access to vital counselling, family support and peer to peer work. This kind of community based support cannot be delivered without the third sector and other community partners and we look forward to pressing the case for significant inclusion in the building and implementation of this new community model of support.

The Scottish Government’s announcement of £250 million new investment in mental health over 5 years, is welcome and as is the prioritisation of children and young people’s services.  We await further detail on how this will be spent over time to maximise impact, given the urgency of need.

Billy Watson, SAMH Chief Executive said:

“We welcome the Programme for Government and the greater attention to mental health.

“I am delighted the Scottish Government is introducing counselling in all secondary schools and offering all teachers training in mental health.  I would like to express our thanks to SAMH supporters and campaigners who have worked with us to help make this a reality.

“Over the course of the next few weeks we look forward to hearing more detail about how the Scottish Government intends to transform children and young people’s mental health services.”


Read the CAMHS Rejected Referrals audit.

Read The Government's Programme for Scotland 2018-19.