Mental health and well-being strategy for Scotland launched

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A strategy which aims to improve the mental health and well-being of people in Scotland has begun.

The Scottish Government said the issue was one of the top public health challenges in Europe.

In the new review the government has underlined 36 commitments, including providing faster access to mental health services for young people.

Mental disorders are estimated to affect more than one-third of the population every year, the review said.

The most common of these being depression and anxiety, according to the Mental Health Strategy for Scotland: 2012-2015.

Public Health Minister Michael Matheson said: "In Scotland we are proud of what we have already achieved in promoting rights and recovery for people who use services and their carers."

"We must now increase the pace of change and focus on delivering improvements which we believe will have the maximum possible impact across the whole population."

Positive change

There was a strong focus on actions that people can take for themselves and with their communities to maintain and improve their own health, the government said.

Joyce Mouriki, chair of Vox, a national mental health service-user organisation, said: "We are delighted that the new mental health strategy includes a number of commitments that our members identified.

"These include faster access to psychological therapies, crises response, peer support, social prescribing, and employment.

"We hope very much that the strategy will improve the lives of those who experience mental health problems, and look forward to our continued involvement in the process of making positive change."

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