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HEALTH


Mental health minister Clare Haughey welcomed the introduction of computerised cognitive behavioural therapy among a series of digital measures


at heart of Covid response Programme uses digital resources to aid key groups and promote wellbeing


in response to the pandemic, such as the Clear Your Head campaign, the expansion of digital services and the establishment of mental health assessment centres. As well as promoting good


BY STAFF REPORTER


A new plan that includes extensive use of digital resources will help ensure mental health and well- being remains at the heart of the Scottish Government’s response to Covid-19. Children and young people,


those facing redundancy and people with long-term physical health conditions and disabilities are among key groups on which the plan is focused. It builds on innovations and new service designs that have emerged


mental health and wellbeing, the plan prioritises rapid and easily accessible support for those in distress, and ensures safe, effective treatment and care of people liv- ing with mental illness. A tailored programme of work will help indi- vidual NHS boards respond effec- tively to the anticipated increase in demand in the months ahead. Mental health minister, Clare


Haughey, said: “Troughout this year, mental health has continued to be an absolute priority for this government, and we’ve invested £6m of dedicated funding to sup- port the whole population. “Our Transition and Recovery


Plan for Mental Health reflects how fundamental this issue is. It is comprehensive, containing over 100 actions, and focuses on the specific mental health needs of everyone across Scotland. “As with all health services,


mental health services had to adapt quickly to delivering sup- port and care in different ways. Many NHS health boards have moved parts of their services on- line, and have provided less urgent care digitally using Near Me. We will further build on this success with the roll-out of computerised cognitive behavioural therapy, which will support a minimum of a further 10,000 people.” Director of Scotland and North-


ern Ireland at the Mental Health Foundation, Lee Knifton, said: “We are pleased to see the Scottish Government embark on a mental


£6m plan keeps mental health


health in all policies agenda and to have played a role in shaping this plan. We have consistently advocated for an all policies approach and today’s plan feels like a breakthrough moment. Mental health is much more than mental illness, it must be consid- ered in our schools, workplaces, our welfare system and our justice system. Tis plan is an important step in that direction. “It is encouraging to see that


the Scottish Government has taken our recommendations on board and we look forward to working in partnership to imple- ment the commitments laid out. Tis ambitious plan will need investment to achieve maximum impact, but any investment in mental health will realise social, health and economic benefits down the line.” l


FUTURESCOT | WINTER 2020/21 | 21


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