Scotland announce extra government funding for mental health on Mental Health Day
On Mental Health Day, Scotland revealed that it will boost spending on mental health services by £500,000. This will top the current fund of £1.12 million currently given to NHS 24 for the provision of looking after the nation’s mental health.
This increase will go to ensuring that NHS 24, Scotland’s health information and self-care advice service, can handle more calls regarding mental health.
Between 2006 and 2016, the numbers of calls received by the service regarding mental health has risen from 38,000 to 87,000. Back in May of 2017, the service revealed that it had reached the 20 million call mark from its inception 15 years ago.
Scotland, much like the rest of the UK, is struggling with growing demand on its mental health services and has suffered a rise of 8% in suicides during 2016.
Mental Health Minister, Maureen Watt, said to the BBC: “Building on the plans laid out in our Mental Health Strategy, this £500,000 funding package will help NHS 24 to improve their mental health services, whether online or via telephone. This is a key part of our work to intervene early, which we know can help prevent problems from worsening.”
A recent survey conducted in Scotland revealed that 40% of Scottish workers would not openly talk about any mental health issues they were facing for fear of damaging their job prospects. The survey also stated that 42% claimed that instead of taking leave for mental health issues, they would be more likely to suggest it was a physical ailment instead.
It is claimed that offering better mental health support to individuals within the workplace could save business £8 billion per year. This is due to the high numbers of individuals who struggle with mental health problems, as an estimated 1 in 6 individuals experience a common mental health problem.