Table of Contents
- Priority 3: Increase Mental Health Capacity within General Practice and Primary Care
- Strategic Action 3.1: Community Mental Health and Wellbeing Supports and Services for Children and Young People
- 3.1.1 Funding Local Authorities for Community-based Mental Health and Wellbeing Supports for Children and Young People
- 3.1.2 Reviewing and Refreshing the Children and Young People’s Community Mental Health and Wellbeing Supports and Services Framework
- 3.1.3 Enhancing the Focus on Mental Health in Children’s Services Planning Processes
- Strategic Action 3.2: Building Capacity in Local Services and Third Sector Community Groups
- Strategic Action 3.3: Shifting the Balance of Care towards Prevention and Early Intervention
Priority 3: Increase Mental Health Capacity within General Practice and Primary Care
In order to promote a whole system, whole person approach to mental health and well-being, it is essential to increase the capacity for mental health support within general practice and primary care, universal services, and community-based mental health supports. This priority also aims to address the barriers faced by marginalized groups when accessing these services. The outcomes for this priority include:
- Increased mental health and well-being of the population.
- Reduction in mental health inequalities.
- Improved quality and length of life for people with mental health conditions.
- Increased knowledge and understanding of mental health and well-being.
- Adoption of a ‘mental health and well-being in all policies’ approach.
- Availability of comprehensive support and services.
- Informed and shaped mental health policies, support, care, and treatment.
Challenges and Opportunities
There are several global challenges that need to be addressed in order to improve mental health and well-being. These include stigma and discrimination, delivering effective supports and services, ensuring adequate primary and community care, and the need for data and evidence to inform decision-making. Additionally, the workforce in the mental health sector needs to be strengthened.
Key Area of Focus
The key area of focus for this priority is to build mental health and well-being capacity in local communities across Scotland. This involves increasing non-medical and community models of support, from early intervention and distress intervention approaches to recovery and general well-being support for those in need. It is important to consider mental health and well-being holistically and address the negative determinants of health and well-being, such as loneliness and poverty. This also includes promoting good physical health as a protective factor. Collaboration between community planning partners, including local authorities, health and social care partnerships, and the third sector, is crucial in achieving these goals.
- The overall mental health and well-being of the population is increased, and mental health inequalities are reduced.
- People with mental health conditions, including those with co-existing health conditions, experience improved quality and length of life, free from stigma and discrimination.
- People have increased knowledge and understanding of mental health and well-being and how to access appropriate support.
- A ‘mental health and well-being in all policies’ approach is adopted to address social, economic, and environmental factors that impact mental health and well-being.
- Comprehensive support and services that promote and support mental health and well-being are available in a timely manner, meeting individual needs.
- Mental health policies, support, care, and treatment are informed and shaped by people with lived experience and practitioners, focusing on high-quality provision that is recovery-oriented.
- Decision-makers and practitioners have better access to evidence, research, and data to ensure an evidence-based approach to policy and practice.
Strategic Action 3.1: Community Mental Health and Wellbeing Supports and Services for Children and Young People
3.1.1 Funding Local Authorities for Community-based Mental Health and Wellbeing Supports for Children and Young People
The Scottish Government will continue to provide funding to local authorities to deliver community-based mental health and wellbeing supports for children and young people. This funding will focus on prevention, early intervention, and addressing emotional distress.
3.1.2 Reviewing and Refreshing the Children and Young People’s Community Mental Health and Wellbeing Supports and Services Framework
The Scottish Government, in collaboration with COSLA (Convention of Scottish Local Authorities), local authorities, and the Scottish Youth Parliament, will review and refresh the framework for community mental health and wellbeing supports and services for children and young people. This will ensure that the framework remains up-to-date and effective.
3.1.3 Enhancing the Focus on Mental Health in Children’s Services Planning Processes
The Scottish Government, COSLA, local authorities, and NHS Boards will work closely with stakeholders to enhance the focus on mental health within Children’s Services Planning processes. This will include the co-development of a national briefing to guide and inform mental health initiatives during the life of this Delivery Plan.
Strategic Action 3.2: Building Capacity in Local Services and Third Sector Community Groups
3.2.1 Providing Funding for Community Mental Health and Wellbeing Support for Adults
The Scottish Government will provide funding for a third year of the Communities Mental Health and Wellbeing Fund for Adults, to be delivered by TSI-led (Third Sector Interface) local partnerships. This funding will prioritize addressing inequalities and supporting those facing socio-economic disadvantage.
3.2.2 Sharing Learning and Supporting Capacity Building
The Scottish Government, in collaboration with TSI’s, local authorities, Health and Social Care Partnerships (HSCP’s), and third sector organizations, will use the Fund National Network to share emerging learning and support capacity building among TSI’s, their partners, and individual projects. The independent evaluation of the fund will also be disseminated to inform future practice.
3.2.3 Promoting Community-based Interventions for Children, Young People, and Adults
The Scottish Government and COSLA, along with TSI’s, local authorities, HSCP’s, and third sector organizations, will actively promote the value of community-based interventions for children, young people, and adults. This will be done through joint communications activities and national learning events to share good practice by March 2024.
3.2.4 Addressing Challenges in Remote, Rural, and Island Communities
To address the unique challenges faced by those living in remote, rural, and island communities, the Scottish Government will work with the Scottish Rural Mental Health Forum, local authorities, and Change Mental Health. This collaboration aims to gather and share evidence, provide strategic insight into the barriers faced by these communities, and build their resilience.
Strategic Action 3.3: Shifting the Balance of Care towards Prevention and Early Intervention
3.3.1 Improving Access to Mental Health Support in Primary Care
The Scottish Government, Integrated Joint Boards (IJB’s), NHS Boards, GP practices, NHS 24, Scottish Ambulance Services (SAS), and Police Scotland will collaborate to improve access to support, assessment, and treatment in primary care mental health and wellbeing services. This will involve the development of multi-disciplinary teams in general practice and the utilization of digital provision and NHS 24 to simplify and expedite access to care. Progress on these initiatives, including equality impacts, will be reported by November 2024.
3.3.2 Measuring and Evaluating Outcomes in Primary Care Mental Health Services
The Scottish Government and Healthcare Improvement Scotland (HIS), in collaboration with GP practices, will publish guidance on measuring and evaluating outcomes from mental health and wellbeing services in primary care by the end of 2023. This guidance will include data indicators for protected characteristics and deprivation.
3.3.3 Prioritizing Primary Care and Community Mental Health in the Mental Health Outcomes Framework
Primary care and community mental health will continue to be prioritized within the Mental Health Outcomes Framework. This framework will guide the measurement and evaluation of outcomes in these areas, ensuring a focus on prevention and early intervention.
In conclusion, the priority of increasing mental health capacity within general practice and primary care, universal services, and community-based mental health supports is crucial for improving the mental health and well-being of the population. By focusing on prevention, early intervention, and addressing the barriers faced by marginalized groups, Scotland can work towards reducing mental health inequalities and ensuring that comprehensive support and services are available to all. Collaboration between various stakeholders, including local authorities, health and social care partnerships, and the third sector, is essential for the successful implementation of these initiatives. By adopting a holistic approach and utilizing evidence-based practices, Scotland can promote a society where mental health and well-being are prioritized for all.