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Towards a Mentally Flourishing Scotland: Policy and Action Plan 2009-2011



The Scottish Government, working with its partners and agencies, will provide national and local support to the mental health improvement agenda.

Support functions include: performance improvement; performance monitoring and management; learning and workforce development; communications; and intelligence ( e.g. evidence and data).

NHS Health Scotland will provide support to local implementation by:

  • providing outcomes-focused tools and guidance for mental health improvement planning, implementation and performance management;
  • supporting knowledge transfer of the evidence base for effective interventions
  • and approaches and giving support to its use in practice.

NHS Health Scotland will provide support to national implementation by:

  • continuing to develop the evidence base for mental health improvement;
  • working with partners to develop an outcomes framework for mental health improvement and related performance indicators and targets;
  • working with partners to develop a strategic approach to workforce development
  • for mental health improvement;
  • building on the work that has already been undertaken for adults by developing national indicators for children and young people. The indicator set will be
  • published in 2010/11.

The Scottish Public Health Observatory will report annually on the national mental health (wellbeing and illness) indicators to track progress and change over time. This information will be used to shape and inform policy decisions across the Government regarding priorities for action and resource allocation. The baseline report for adults will be published in Spring 2009.

The Scottish Government will provide support to implementation of mental health improvement by:

  • establishing a National Mental Health Improvement Planning and Delivery Coordination Group to coordinate and drive action;
  • using the regular mental health reviews with NHS Boards and their partners to consider action and progress on mental health improvement;
  • working with partners to implement the Health Improvement Social Marketing Strategy, ensuring that mental wellbeing plays a central role in campaigns on health improvement as well as developing a specific campaign strand for mental health improvement in 2009;
  • using communication tools such as the www.wellscotland.info website and Well? magazine to support and inform specialist users, interested non-professionals, mental health service users and the general public;
  • continuing to support research and innovation to develop the evidence base;
  • continuing to survey public attitudes to mental well-being and mental illness through the bi-annual national survey - Well? What do you think? - and use this survey to gather information about mental health literacy from 2011;
  • commissioning further evaluations of mental health improvement programmes, including Choose Life and the Scottish Recovery Network;
  • working with partners to develop self-help and self management frameworks for use by Community Health Partnerships;
  • launching a Managed Knowledge Network to provide the public with resources to support self-help for mental health improvement;
  • developing a programme to enhance mental health improvement literacy among both key stakeholders and the general public;
  • including within the new National Health Information and Support Service (which includes a national health information helpline and a network of branded health information support centres) mental health improvement information by 2010.

NHS Quality Improvement Scotland has developed a practice database - ( PIRAMHIDS - Positive and Innovative Resources: A Mental Health Interactive Database (Scotland)) - to promote positive and innovative rights, values and 'evidence-based' practice in mental health care settings. This resource will be extended to include work on mental health improvement.

Promoting mental health, preventing mental health problems and mental illness, and improving the quality of life of those experiencing illness are priorities for the World Health Organization. The 2005 WHO Mental Health Declaration for Europe was signed by 52 Member States, including the UK. It outlined the main priorities for Europe for the next decade:

  • fostering awareness of the importance of mental wellbeing;
  • collectively tackling stigma, discrimination and inequality, and empowering and supporting people with mental health problems and their families, to be actively engaged in this process;
  • designing and implementing comprehensive, integrated and efficient mental health systems that cover promotion, prevention, treatment and rehabilitation, care and recovery;
  • address the need for a competent workforce, effective in all these areas;
  • recognise the experience and knowledge of services users and carers as an important basis for planning and developing mental health services.

This policy and action plan demonstrates Scotland's ongoing commitment to addressing these European priorities in a Scottish context.