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  • Writer's pictureKenneth Gibson MSP

10-16 May is Mental Health Awareness Week 20212: Connect with Nature

This week is Mental Health Awareness Week 2021, during which the Mental Health Foundation and other organisations raise extra awareness of the impact mental health can have on our lives and how we can look after it.

This year’s team is “Connect with Nature” – apt for a year in which many of us have discovered the benefits of going outdoors to clear our heads as we dealt with lockdown, the pandemic and in many cases, grief.

In line with our manifesto, the SNP Government will increase direct investment into mental health services by at least 25% and ensure that, by the end of the Parliament, 10% of the frontline NHS budget will be invested in mental health.

There will be increased spending in Child and Adult Mental Health Services (CAMHS), which will help reshape how CAMHS is delivered, underpinned by the principle of “Ask once, get help fast,” and there will be a National Transitions Strategy to improve outcomes for children and young people experiencing mental ill health in their transitions from childhood to adulthood.

Further investment will be made in suicide prevention, digital service delivery, occupational and mental health support for NHS staff, and more. The SNP Government will also build on the success of its community link worker programme, to ensure every GP practice in the country has access to a dedicated mental wellbeing link worker, creating a network of 1,000 additional dedicated staff who can help grow community mental health resilience and help direct social prescribing.

Cunninghame North MSP Kenneth Gibson said:

“The past year has really hammered home the point that mental health is just as important to look after as our physical health.

“While investments in and improvements to our mental health services are ever evolving, we are also fortunate to have North Ayrshire’s beaches, woodlands and the rest of Scotland’s beautiful scenery on our doorstep.

“Nevertheless, even if you just take a stroll around your neighbourhood every day, it will clear your heads, get fresh air and indeed Connect with Nature.

“If you are concerned about your own or someone else’s mental health, talk to your GP or have a look at one of the excellent mental health charities below.

“If you are or know someone who’s experiencing suicidal thoughts, please call NHS 24's Breathing Space (free) on 0800 838587 or Samaritans Scotland (free), who can be reached 27/4 on 116 123.”

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