Call to 'talk more' about mental health

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Image caption The Scottish Association for Mental Health is urging people to talk to friends and family more about their mental health

More than a quarter of people in Scotland do not take time to look after their mental health despite recognising its importance, according to a survey.

The Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH) is calling for people to talk to friends or family more about mental health issues.

A poll for the charity found most Scots believe their mental health is as, or more, important than physical health.

The online survey was filled in by more than 1,000 people in Scotland.

SAMH conducted the research earlier in the month to coincide with World Mental Health Day on 10 October.

The charity said figures showed that 86% thought their mental health and physical health were equally important, while 8% thought their mental health was more important than their physical health.

Jo Anderson, director of external affairs at SAMH, said: "We all have mental health, just as we all have physical health, and it's important that we look after it.

"This Mental Health Awareness Week we want to get people thinking about their own mental health and the kind of things that improve it.

"Throughout the week we'll be highlighting ideas and inspiration, and hope that people will get involved and share their own experiences."

The Scottish government said it had increased funding for psychiatric services since coming to power in 2007 and was committed to extending services.

MSP Clare Haughey, a registered mental health nurse and deputy convener of Holyrood's Health and Sport Committee, said: "Ensuring everyone is able to get effective mental health treatment is an important step in our efforts to create a healthier, happier society - and the increased funding to sit at nearly £1bn for psychiatric services is a positive development.

"The SNP is strongly committed to tackling mental health problems across Scotland - evidenced by this funding and the creation of a dedicated mental health minister in the Scottish government."

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