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Mental Health in Scotland

Mental illness is one of the major public health challenges in Scotland. Around one in three people are estimated to be affected by mental illness in any one year. Improving mental health is a priority for the Scottish Government.

This website includes information about the activity that the Scottish Government is currently undertaking. If you want to find out about Mental Health and Wellbeing, the NHS Inform Mental Health and Wellbeing Zone is a useful source of information:

In order to improve the evidence base to inform our work, the Scottish Government’s Mental Health and Protection of Rights Division of produced a paper on research and mental health policy in Scotland. The research priorities outlined in the paper were developed to support our work to achieve five key policy objectives articulated through the mental health and suicide prevention strategies. 

Researchers interested in pursuing any of the research priorities outlined in this paper are advised to contact the Scottish Mental Health Research Network (SMHRN) to find out more about opportunities to apply for research funding from the Scottish Government’s Chief Scientist Office (CSO) and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). The Mental Health and Protection of Rights Division does not provide research funding:

Main Areas

Our work on mental health is divided into five main areas:

  • Work to promote good mental health and improve mental health services is set out in the Mental Health Strategy
  • Work to improve services for people living with dementia, their families and carers is set out in the Dementia Strategy
  • Work to reduce suicide and self harm is set out in the Reducing Suicide and Self Harm section of the website
  • Responsibility for, and development of mental health law. Information about mental health law and development of updated legislation is available on the Mental Health Law section of the website.
  • Supporting Scottish Ministers statutory role in respect of Restricted patients