Mental health services in Scotland get £85m funding boost
Mental health services are to receive an extra £85m for improvements over the next five years, the Scottish government has announced.
Some of the fund will be used to provide more care for children and young people.
There has been a 35% increase in those starting treatment with Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) in the past two years.
Scottish labour described the funding increase as "pure spin".
Ministers previously revealed an extra £15m for mental health innovation.
The additional cash will also be used to promote better wellbeing through physical activity, improving patients' rights, to help GPs treat those suffering from mental health problems and providing services in community settings.
Waiting times down
Jamie Hepburn, minister for health improvement, mental health and sport, said: "Mental health services are an absolute priority of this government.
"These are some of the most vulnerable people in our country and it's vital that the health service is properly equipped to give them the support and treatment they need.
"We have been investing heavily for a number of years and waiting times have come down significantly, despite an unprecedented rise in the number of people seeking help."
However, Dr Richard Simpson, Labour public and mental health spokesman, said the share of the NHS budget for mental health had reduced.
He said: "This is pure spin from the SNP. Their cuts to mental health came to £80m a year, this additional money only sees an extra £20m in helping some of the most vulnerable people in Scotland.
"Of course additional funding for mental health is welcome, but this comes after years of reductions in the share of the NHS budget for mental health."
Dr Simpson added: "The SNP are trying to spin they are protecting NHS budgets - they are simply trying to undo some of their own damage"
Royal College of Nursing (RCN) Scotland associate director Norman Provan said: "There are many examples of nurses operating innovative services that improve care for people with mental health problems, not only in NHS services in hospitals and the community, but also in local authority services.
"But while such innovative services make a huge difference, they are often subject to funding cuts, and don't know how long they'll be open and providing much-needed support. They, and the people who rely on their services, need to know that they will continue in the future."
He added: "So we need to see long-term investment by Scotland's new joint integration boards in services designed to meet the needs of our most vulnerable people."
Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesman Jim Hume said: "The Scottish government needs to give equal status to mental ill health as physical illness.
"Under the SNP's watch the number of trained psychology professionals has dropped. A postcode lottery means people in some parts of Scotland are half as likely to get proper access as people in other parts.
"We know that GPs are not referring patients for therapies because the therapies simply aren't there."