Funding boost for mental health support during pandemic
The Scottish Government is investing more than £1 million to support mental health services for families and young people affected by mental health problems and autism.
Scotland’s health secretary Jeane Freeman announced the funding on Sunday, 40 days into lockdown, which has affected many people with mental health issues.
Of this money, £768,000 will fund a relationships helpline to be operated by The Spark counselling service. Another £105,000 will help Young Scot improve digital content and online mental health resources, and £205,000 will help 47,000 autistic people in Scotland by improving the capacity of the Scottish Autism Helpline and supporting the National Autistic Society’s efforts to keep people in touch online.
Ms Freeman said: “While everyone is experiencing different challenges at this time, the mental health of children, young people and families can be put under great strain.
“We appreciate that spending a lot of time together in isolation and home-working, home-schooling and juggling childcare can be really tough.
“This crisis means many people are dealing with anxiety, fear, uncertainty, anger or sadness. They may feel overwhelmed and relationships can be placed under a lot of pressure.
“We want to ensure that the right help and support is in place for the mental wellbeing of our children, young people and families. This package of measures focuses on prevention and recovery, and on maintaining healthy relationships throughout the current restrictions. It follows the launch of our national campaign, Clear Your Head, last week.”