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  1. 5.30pm: World Mental Health Day debate

Live Reporting

By Ailsa Brown and Craig Hutchison

All times stated are UK

Parliament adjourns

That concludes our coverage of the Scottish Parliament today, all the day's business will be available to view this evening at

BBC Scotland's Democracy Live website.

We will be back at 9.15am as we prepare for our coverage of the Finance Committee, until then have a very good night.


Public Health Minister Michael Matheson says access to children and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) now has a heat target waiting time of 18 weeks from December this year.

Mr Matheson says there is a significant increase in referrals and in the numbers treated.

He highlights significant improvement in waiting times and £13.5m of additional funding since 2009.

This has led to a 45% increase in the staff of CAMH services says the minister.

The minister accepts there are waiting times that are far too long, but insists progress is being made.

Seven Key Themes

Man receiving therapy
Science Photo Library
Talking therapies are one treatment option for schizophrenia

The Mental Health Strategy identifies seven key themes, which emerged from the consultation process, which will be emphasised during implementation of the Mental Health Strategy:

  1. Working more effectively with families and carers
  2. Embedding more peer to peer work and support
  3. Increasing the support for self-management and self help approaches
  4. Extending the anti-stigma agenda forward to include further work on discrimination
  5. Focusing on the rights of those with mental illness
  6. Developing the outcomes approach to include personal, social and clinical outcomes
  7. Ensuring that we use new technology effectively as a mechanism for providing information and delivering evidence based services

Public health minister

Public Health Minister Michael Matheson says the government supports organisations like Support in Mind with three year funding.

Mental illness is one of the top health priorities across Europe, says the minister, and that is why it is one of the Scottish government's clinical priorities.

Michael Matheson

He says there are 36 commitments within the Scottish government's mental health strategy.


Mental Health Strategy 2012-15 sets out the government's priorities and commitments to improve mental health services and to promote mental wellbeing and prevent mental illness.

'Postcode lottery'

Lib Dem MSP Liam McArthur commends Support in Mind Scotland for their campaign.

Mr McArthur says the figures from

SAMH and other charities suggest one in four will suffer from mental ill-health in their lifetime.

Liam McArthur

He says there are concerns about regional variations across health boards in their success combating mental health problems, creating a "postcode lottery", particularly in rural areas.

Early intervention

The motion from Ms Fabiani says she is concerned that nine out of 10 people with schizophrenia cannot get employment and experience discrimination and stigma.

It highlights the fact that people with schizophrenia face shorter life expectancies by 15 to 20 years on average compared with the general population.

Picture of lady with head in hands
Researchers from more than 30 countries investigated the genes linked to schizophrenia

The answer, according to the SNP MSP, is early intervention by charities and other stakeholders, as it "boosts the life chances of people with schizophrenia".

It specifically congratulates the volunteers in Support in Mind Scotland's East Kilbride support group, which has been working locally for 36 years.

Malcolm Chisholm

Malcolm Chisholm

Labour MSP Malcolm Chisholm says he supports Linda Fabiani's motion and welcomes World Mental Health Days focus on "this much misunderstood condition" of shizophrenia.

Common misconceptions

Ms Fabiani highlights the discrimination and stigma people with mental health issues suffer which is why the

See Me campaign is so important.

She also focuses on the "sensationalist media stories" which do not help this problem.

Linda Fabiani

The East Kilbride MSP says there are common misconceptions about many aspects of mental health and World Mental Health Day 2014 focussed on schizophrenia.

The word schizophrenia does not mean someone has a split or multiple personality, often misrepresented by the mainstream media.

People with mental illness are much more likely to be the victim of a crime, rather than to be a criminal, she says.

Support in Mind Scotland

In her motion Ms Fabiani says that World Mental Health Day 2014 shines the spotlight on schizophrenia and that one in 100 people have schizophrenia.

Depressed man with counsellor
Peter Dazeley
People with depression feel persistently sad for weeks or months

She welcomes the work of

Support in Mind Scotland, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, and its upcoming 1 in 100 campaign, which is to be launched in October.

Ms Fabiani is concerned that nine out of 10 people with schizophrenia cannot get employment and experience discrimination and stigma and is further concerned that people with schizophrenia face shorter life expectancies by 15 to 20 years on average compared with the general population.

World Mental Health Day

SNP MSP Linda Fabiani is leading a debate on World Mental Health Day.

10 October 2014 was

World Mental Health Day and is a day of global mental health education, awareness and advocacy.

Decision time

The motion and amendment from the Smith Commission debate are passed unanimously.

Mike Russell

As we approach decision time the education secretary concludes the debate on the Smith Commission saying the "reality of the situation is the range, depth and scope of the desire for change is there and continues".

There is a rising tide in the desire for change says Mr Russell and it is the job of he Smith Commission to deliver it and it will have the "wholehearted support of the Scottish government" he concludes.

'Positive about change'

Education Secretary Mike Russell says the public understood what the promises from the three main Westminster party leaders and the "clunking interventions of Gordon Brown" meant.

Mr Russell criticises the Calman Commission saying it was merely a response to the SNP victory in 2007.

Michael Russell

He says "We don't want another Calman process.

"We want an inclusive process that actually is positive about change."

Laughter in the chamber

Mr Gray raises a laugh at the beginning of a speech when he points out that the media had some fun at the expense of the Smith Commission participants.

All the participants including Mr Gray came away from the meeting saying it was "positive and constructive".

Mr Gray says such an impressive message discipline across five parties was highlighted by the media, adding "some of us sometimes struggle with that amongst our colleagues and friends".

Labour closing

Labour MSP Iain Gray, who sits on the Smith Commission, says the first meeting was positive and constructive.

Mr Gray says the principles of the commission are important and accuses the SNP of misrepresenting promises made by Gordon Brown and the Prime Minister among others.

Iain Gray

He says the promise was there would be "substantial new powers" for the Scottish Parliament, "as if there is any doubt this is going to happen" he adds.

The Smith Commission itself is the guarantee of more powers, the former Scottish Labour leader says.

Conservative closing

Conservative MSP Alex Fergusson says the Scottish parliament has suffered from an accountability deficit in how its spends its funding at the moment.

The process of securing further devolution for Scotland and a sustainable constitutional future for the country is underway with the Smith Commission, says Mr Fergusson.

Alex Fergusson

The proposals decided on in the end must by the commission not the parliament, he says.

The Galloway and West Dumfries MSP says he is heartened after the first meeting of the commission.

Who is Lord Smith of Kelvin?

Lord Smith of Kelvin has been appointed to oversee the process of devolving more powers to Scotland. But who is he?

From Glasgow the peer has a reputation in the business world as a safe pair of hands.

Lord Smith of Kelvin
Lord Smith of Kelvin was involved Glasgow's Commonwealth Games

When his home city was selected to host the Commonwealth Games, the Scottish government asked him to be chairman of the organising company.

He has been chairman of National Museums Scotland and described the opening of the new Museum of Scotland as one of the proudest days of his life.

Lord Smith is also a former BBC governor, head of the Broadcasting Council for Scotland and chairman of the BBC's Children in Need.

For more than a decade he was chairman of global engineering company the Weir Group until stepping down in 2013.

Lord Smith became the first chairman of the UK Green Investment Bank and also chairs energy giant SSE.

Married with two daughters, he owns Inchmarnock, a small uninhabited island off the west coast of Scotland where he breeds Highland cattle.

Highland cattle
Lord Smith has an interest in breeding Highland cattle

What next for Scotland?

  • During the referendum campaign, David Cameron, Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband signed a pledge to devolve more powers to Scotland, if Scots rejected independence
  • Immediately after the result became clear, Mr Cameron appointed Lord Smith of Kelvin to oversee the implementation of more devolution on tax, spending and welfare
  • A white paper is due at the end of November, after a period of consultation
  • A draft new "Scotland Act" law would be published by Burns Night (25 January) 2015 ready for the House of Commons to vote on
  • And legislation would be passed after the 2015 General Election
  • Follow the story with the BBC by going to our special
    Scotland: What Next? page.

Alex Rowley

Labour MSP Alex Rowley says: "I don't actually support 100% income tax being devolved, I do see it as a Tory trap".

Alex Rowley

Mr Rowley says he believes in 75% of income tax being devolved, but with other taxes like VAT also being in the devolution package.

This would give control of 54% of the spending in Scotland, in 2016, to Holyrood.

Lib Dems

Lib Dem MSP Tavish Scott, who sits on the Smith Commission, criticises the tone of the SNP in the debate.

Mr Scott agrees with Labour MSP Sarah Boyack's comments about decentralisation within Scotland, Labour's so called "double devolution" proposal.

Tavish Scott

The Shetland MSP says the high turnout in the independence referendum gives a good grounding and the basis, if the parties can work together, on producing a very much stronger package for Scotland.

He says the early signs are good, but it will require all the parties to accept the limitations of their own positions.

Lord Smith

Following its first full meeting, the commission said it had agreed a set of principles for the cross-party talks, but added there would be no agreements announced in any policy area until it had considered submissions from the public.

Members of the public and Scotland's civic bodies have until 31 October to submit their views.

The agreed principles included a commitment that the outcome of talks would not be "conditional on the conclusion of other political negotiations elsewhere in the UK".

Lord Smith
(C) British Broadcasting Corporation
Lord Smith has insisted the commission will be able to reach an agreement

Lord Smith said: "We have good people around the table, each with their own deeply-held views, who have committed to work together to achieve a positive outcome to this process.

"We had a constructive discussion and agreed some important principles, which will guide us towards an agreement on a package of substantial and cohesive new powers to strengthen the Scottish Parliament within the UK."

How they stand

The Scottish government has called for full responsibility for all taxes to be transferred to Scotland, including powers over income tax, national insurance, corporation tax, capital gains tax, fuel duty, air passenger duty and inheritance tax.

It wants Holyrood to be given responsibility for all domestic spending, including welfare, with payments made to the UK government for reserved services.

The administration is also seeking control over employment policy, areas of transport policy not already devolved, competition, energy and broadcasting policy and the Crown Estate.

Scottish Labour has said Scotland should have the power to raise 40% of its budget, through increasing the tax-varying powers to become available through the Scotland Act, from 10p to 15p - potentially raising an extra £2bn.

The party is also calling for "double devolution" with more powers going from Holyrood to local authorities.

Lord Smith commission panel
Representatives of five political parties sit on the Lord Smith commission

The Scottish Conservative Party said Scotland should be responsible for setting the rates and bands of personal income tax and the Holyrood parliament should get a share of VAT.

The Scottish Liberal Democrats suggest that the Scottish Parliament should have the fiscal powers to raise most of what it spends.

And the Scottish Greens believe the country should have full control of income tax, including the right to set rates, bands and personal allowances.

Unionist parties' devolution timetable

Timeline to further devolution


Scottish Conservative MSP Murdo Fraser says: "I do think that when politicians make commitments they should try to meet them, whenever possible.

Murdo Frasrer

"The Prime Minster David Cameron could not have moved much faster than he did; within a few hours of the referendum result coming out from number 10 Downing Street and announcing that the Smith Commission would be established to deliver the promises made in the Vow.

"It does seem unreasonable now to try and criticise him for taking this forward."

Taylor analysis

BBC Scotland's Political Editor Brian Taylor cast his eye over the Smith Commission:

"The Smith Commission is an intriguing creation, operating at different levels.

"It is not the cross-party Constitutional Convention which paved the way to Scotland's Parliament in the first place - nor is it the Calman Commission which generated enhanced powers in the Scotland Act 2012.

"For Lord Smith of Kelvin, "l'etat, c'est moi." He sits, alone and palely loitering.

Brian Taylor

"Alone, that is, apart from some of the smartest civil servants on these islands.

"Alone apart from the torrent of advice which will come his way, not least from the political leaders.

"Unlike the Convention, unlike Calman, this is not a cross-party body. It will not - at least overtly - involve a cross-party fix.

"The senior political figures - and they are decidedly senior - who attend today are interested advisers, not members."


Labour MSP Drew Smith says the SNP have finally accepted devolution with a strong Scottish Parliament within, rather than out of, the UK is the people's settled will".

Drew Smith

Ms Sturgeon intervenes asking if the "minimalist" proposals from Labour were a "floor not a ceiling".

Mr Smith declines to answer this and says we are not going to negotiate an outcome to the Smith Commission from out with the commission itself.

Party proposals

Ms Sturgeon says the continuation of the Barnett Formula has been agreed by all of the parties now.

She says the process of the Smith Commission will not deliver what she thinks is best for Scotland, but will secure "the best deal we can for Scotland at this time".

The deputy first minister says she also recognises Scotland wont get everything the SNP ask for in its proposals.

"For others that must mean they will need to go substantially further than their published proposals."

She says she welcomes the Conservatives saying their proposals are a "floor not a ceiling", but points out many people think Labour's proposals are widely seen as the "weakest of every party".

Once in a lifetime

Ms Sturgeon says: "Scotland should be and will be in the future and independent country."

However she accepts independence was not the choice of the people of Scotland in the referendum.

Nicola Sturgeon

Ms Sturgeon also says independence will not be the outcome of the Smith Commission, that can only happen after a referendum where the majority of people back independence.

Conservative MSP Murdo Fraser says Ms Sturgeon has said the referendum was a "once in a life time vote" and asks had she meant that.

"I always mean what I say" retorts the deputy first minister, who adds it is the people of Scotland who are in charge of the country's future destination.

Smith Commission debate begins

Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon begins the debate.

First meeting

Members of Smith Commission
Representatives of five political parties make up the commission

The first meeting of the Smith Commission produced an agreement that the eventual outcome would:

  • form a substantial and cohesive set of powers;
  • strengthen the Scottish Parliament within the UK;
  • bring about a "durable but responsive" constitutional settlement, which maintains Scotland's place in the UK
  • not be conditional on the conclusion of other political negotiations elsewhere in the UK
  • not cause detriment to the UK as whole or its constituent parts
  • cause neither the UK or Scottish government to gain or lose financially simply as a result of devolving a specific power
  • be compatible with international obligations, including EU law, and be agreed with a "broad understanding" of potential costs

Smith Commission debate motion and amendment

S4M-11301 Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon: Scotland Devolution Commission, The Smith Commission-That the Parliament welcomes the submissions made to The Smith Commission by all parties involved; notes the publication of More Powers for the Scottish Parliament: Scottish Government Proposals; recognises the importance of all parties working together constructively to agree substantial further powers for the Parliament that deliver a better deal for the people of Scotland; encourages people and organisations across Scotland to respond to the commission's call for evidence by 31 October 2014; offers its support to the commission in developing proposals for strengthening the powers of the Parliament, and agrees that the people of Scotland must have the opportunity to inform and influence the implementation of these proposals through public participation and dialogue.

S4M-11301.1 Labour MSP Iain Gray: Scotland Devolution Commission, The Smith Commission-As an amendment to motion S4M-11301 in the name of Nicola Sturgeon (Scotland Devolution Commission, The Smith Commission), after "Proposals" insert "and the publication of all parties' enhanced devolution proposals".

Smith Commission debate

The Scottish government will shortly lead a debate on the

Smith Commission on future devolution to the Scottish Parliament.

The commission held a "constructive" first meeting last week, according to its chairman.

Lord Smith said representatives of Scotland's main political parties had "committed to work together to achieve a positive outcome".

Smith commission meeting
Lord Smith has insisted the commission will be able to reach an agreement

The SNP, Labour, the Conservatives, the Lib Dems and the Scottish Green Party have all set out devolution proposals.

The commission is expected to reach an agreement by 30 November.

Resilience Committee

A special Ebola meeting to discuss how prepared Scotland is for the virus was chaired by First Minister Alex Salmond earlier this month.

The meeting was to ensure Scotland's NHS is able to "stand ready" should any cases of Ebola be confirmed.

Scotland's risk of Ebola is said to be very low.

The meeting of the Scottish Government Resilience Committee also considered support for countries affected.

Labour question

Labour health spokesperson Neil Findlay pays tribute to over 50 NHS professional volunteers from Scotland, NGO's and other volunteers for their "tremendous work" in affected regions like Sierra Leone.

Neil Findlay

Mr Findlay asks about training for these members of staff prior to entering the affected area and what support they get there and when they return

He also asks what support is being given to Scottish African charities and if the health secretary will meet with them.

A vaccine trial in the US
Ebola vaccines are being tested on humans in trials in the US and the UK

Mr Neil details work with some Scottish charities like Oxfam and says he is more than happy to meet NGOs and charities.

The health secretary says 59 staff have volunteered from Scotland and all have done a three stage training programme before arriving in Sierra Leone.

Ebola response

"Across the world countries need to pull together, and we in Scotland are keen to play our part." Says Mr Neil.

"Earlier this year this Government donated half a million pounds to the World Health Organization's Ebola response.

A health worker is decontaminated at a treatment centre
Health workers have been brought into affected countries to help treat patients with Ebola

"That was not a one-off gesture. Last week I announced an additional donation of £300k worth of medical equipment and supplies to West Africa."

He later concluded: "The public should be reassured that the risk of Ebola coming to Scotland is still very low.

"But if it does arrive here, the NHS is ready to respond, and public health will be protected."

Ebola risk low

The health secretary goes on to say: "However it is important we understand the reality of the risk - the fear of Ebola can be more infectious than the virus itself.

"The risk of a case arriving in Scotland is very low - there are no direct flights to Scotland from affected countries, and robust exit screening is now in place in the three affected countries."

Alex Neil

"Entrance screening is in place at Heathrow and Gatwick, as well as in key European hubs such as Paris and Brussels."

He later says: "We must keep the risks in perspective - but we must also be ready to respond. That is why we have been working with the NHS to ensure they are prepared and ready."


Mr Neil says: "Already I am aware of more than 50 such professionals from the NHS in Scotland making this offer. It is likely more support will be needed, and I wrote to NHS Chief Executives on the 16th of October to reiterate our support for volunteers - and to particularly identify the need for more nurses and laboratory staff.

Doctors wearing personal protective equipment outside an Ebola treatment unit in Nigeria
Doctors wearing protective equipment outside an Ebola treatment unit in Nigeria

"I would like to extend my sincere thanks to the Scottish aid workers operating in the region, and the many healthcare workers and other staff who have expressed a willingness to volunteer in West Africa.

"Clearly we need to know that any of our volunteers travelling to West Africa will be safe, and in partnership with Health Protection Scotland I am reassured that robust arrangements are in place to do this.

"We know who is going to West Africa; we know they will be trained well both before they go and when they arrive; we are confident that they will be looked-after when they are there; and we know they will be monitored and supported when they return."

Alex Neil

Health Secretary Alex Neil is delivering his update on Ebola.


Ebola viruses
The Ebola virus causes a range of painful and debilitating symptoms

Ebola virus disease (EVD)

  • Symptoms include high fever, bleeding and central nervous system damage
  • Spread by body fluids, such as blood and saliva
  • Fatality rate can reach 90% - but current outbreak has mortality rate of about 70%
  • No proven vaccine or cure
  • Fruit bats, a delicacy for some West Africans, are considered to be virus's natural host

Coming up

Health Secretary Alex Neil will give a ministerial statement on the Scottish government's preparations to combat Ebola.

The statement comes as the president of the World Bank has made an emotional appeal for thousands of medical workers to volunteer and help contain the growing Ebola outbreak.

Girls look at a Unicef poster on how to prevent the spread of Ebola
Girls look at a Unicef poster on how to prevent the spread of Ebola

Jim Yong Kim said at least 5,000 medics and support staff are needed to beat the disease.

Many potential recruits were too scared to travel to West Africa, he added.

The current Ebola outbreak has infected more than 10,000 people and killed nearly 5,000.