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MENTAL HEALTH FRAMEWORK - FIVE YEARS ON

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Marking the fifth anniversary of the Framework for Mental Health Services in Scotland, and announcing£173,000 in n...
Marking the fifth anniversary of the Framework for Mental Health Services in Scotland, and announcing£173,000 in new funding, health minister Malcolm Chisolm praised its progress in improving services.

He also outlined further work which is underway to improve these services and ensure the Framework reaches its full potential.

Speaking at an Edinburgh conference to mark the anniversary, he announced the additional funding, over three years, to organisations working and supporting survivors of sexual abuse. This includes£120,000 to the Moira Anderson Foundation to expand counselling and support services, and£53,000 to the Edinburgh Association of Mental Health to look at setting up a helpline for survivors.

Mr Chisholm said:

'During the last five years, the Framework for Mental Health Services has provided a good foundation for the development of services, reflecting our aim of having the right services available in the right place and at the right time for people with mental health problems. The challenge now is to build on that foundation by:

- developing mental health services in primary care and community settings

- ensuring that help is available for the broadest possible range of mental health problems

- embarking on a programme for the promotion of mental health and well being which includes an attack on the stigma attached to mental ill health

- ensuring that national standards and policies are implemented through the new Performance Assessment Framework, the work of the Mental Health and Well Being Support Group and the Clinical Standards Board for Scotland.

'Whatever changes are put in place, we are keen to ensure the views of service users and their families play a key part. That is why we consulted so widely in creating Framework for the Prevention of Suicide and Self-harm, to be published later this year, and on the Millan recommendations which will result in the most far-reaching reform of mental health legislation in 40 years.

'One area where I am particularly aware of the need for improvement, is in the support available to the survivors of child sexual abuse - a horrific crime, which can result in a lifetime of suffering. This is an important area for mental health services and this has been recognised by a recent addition to the Framework. Local agencies and the Scottish executive clearly need to work together to increase support and create accessible services, sensitive to individual needs. I can announce today that the executive will be providing£53,000 to the Edinburgh Association for Mental Health to look at setting up a helpline for the victims of sexual abuse. The Moira Anderson Foundation will receive£120,000 to raise public awareness of the impact of sexual abuse and expand its support services for the survivors of such abuse.

'This type of partnership between the Scottish executive, care providers and services users, lay at the heart of the Framework in 1997 and is even more relevant today. We aim to build on our record spending on mental health in recent years with more investment, greater and better joint agency working, improved access to care, and the further development of community based mental health initiatives - including community, primary care, and specialist based services and support.'

The Framework for Mental Health Services in Scotland was launched in 1997 to provide a template for the best organisation of mental health care in Scotland. New sections are added to the Framework to reflect changing needs and offer more detailed advice for specific care services, for example guidance has been added recently on Post Natal Depression, Psychological Interventions and Eating Disorders services. The Mental Health and Well Being Support Group is involved in a continuing programme of visits across Scotland, working with local agencies, services users, and their families to help with the strategic push to ensure the Framework is implemented.

Current investment

-£520m was spent on mental health by the NHS during 2000-01 - a nine per cent increase on the previous year. A further five per cent increase is forecast for 2001-02.

- we are providing significant investment to modernise primary care services and increase capacity:£30m over three years to improve access, chronic disease management, and reduce inequalities.

- we are investing£19m from Mental Illness Specific Grant in 400 local projects throughout Scotland, which support people with mental health problems.

-£9m Mental Health and Well Being Development Fund, linked to the Framework agenda, is being invested in very NHS Board area in Scotland, to support innovation and change in mental health services and assist the joint working agenda.

-£5m in additional funds was given to health boards to add to their local spend on improving accommodation in mental health hospitals.

-£4m will be spent over three years in a national programme to improve the mental health and well being of the Scottish population, including tackling the stimga associated with mental health. A national advisory group, chaired by the minister, recently began considering the development of that programme.

Work which is on-going:

- we will bring forward legislation later this year responding to the Millan Committee recommendations and representing the most fundamental overhaul of mental health legislation in 40 years - creating clearer, fairer and safer mental health law;

- we will launch our Framework for the Prevention of Suicide and Self Harm, later this year;

- we are investigating ways to improve the training for psychological services staff and are supporting UK work on the agreed mental health competencies. We are also introducing improved structures and systems for workforce development locally, regionally and nationally, to ensure that our workforce matches needs;

- we have commissioned reviews by the Public Health Institute for Scotland on Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services, and of Liaison Psychiatry - psychological services in general hospitals;

- HEBS is currently running a campaign for children and adolescents - 'talk to them now and they will talk to you later', linking into the work of the new Child Health Support Group and the Mental Health and Well Being Support Group;

- the new Performance Assessment Framework for NHS Boards includes a number of indicators dealing with mental health which will be used to highlight areas of good and not-so-good performance; and

- we will introduce single shared assessments from April this year, will ensure faster, more responsive care for mental health service users. This will simplify the assessment process, reduce bureaucracy, remove duplication and produce quicker, better and sharper results.

The Edinburgh Association for Mental Health seeks to address health issues and needs in Edinburgh. The new funding will enable it, pending funding from the Community Fund to meet the costs of operating a national helpline for survivors, evaluate the helpline's operation for good practice lessons, and identify unmet need.

The Moira Anderson Foundation is a charitable organisation which aims to protect other children from abuse, provide support and counselling for the victims of abuse, and assist families through the legal process. It currently operates two self help groups for survivors and the new funding announced today will enable MAF to expand these across Scotland and help raise awareness of the needs of this client group.

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