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EACEA National Policies Platform


7. Health and Well-Being

7.8 Current debates and reforms

Last update: 25 January 2021

The 2019/20 programme for government outlines some mental health priorities for young people for the year:  

We will also build on the commitments in last year's Programme for Government which set out a comprehensive package of measures to improve mental health services for children, young people and adults. We have published recommendations to drive up standards of perinatal and infant mental healthcare, supported by £50 million of funding. This academic year sees the first tranche of new school counsellors starting work to support our children and young people in their communities, with all in place by next September. Going forward we will see further progress as we develop community-based mental health services for children and young people. This will use an open access model, allowing referrals to be made by those who work with and support children and young people. Crucially, children and young people will be able to self-refer to the service. We will also scope out how this service can be made available in the future to people of all ages across Scotland.


The 2017-2027 Mental Health Strategy confirms that prevention of suicide and self-harm will continue to be the focus of separate work. In November 2019 a second progress report was published. It stated that within the first two years of the Strategy, 19 of the 40 actions are complete or nearly complete. The remainder are in progress, with only Action 40 (a review at the halfway point of the Strategy in 2022) not yet underway. One of these actions was funding of £18.5 million in 2019/20, as part of an overall investment of £58 million over the last four years to help NHS Boards improve access to CAMHS and Psychological Therapies. There is currently a roll-out in this investment, as well as with the investment of an additional £4 million to recruit 80 additional Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) staff across Scotland.

The Health and Sport Committee of the Scottish Parliament is also conducting the all-age 'Sport for Everyone' inquiry, which has three key strands:

  • sport participation
  • Commonwealth Games legacy
  • barriers to sport.

An interim report on phase 1 was published on 3 May 2017 and the Scottish Government's response on 19 July 2017. Phase 2 of the inquiry is focused on grassroots sport and the importance of developing strategies to remove barriers to participation.