Scotland

Pioneering mental health scheme for young people extended

Girl on phone. Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The Distress Brief Intervention project was set up two years ago

Younger teens are to benefit from a pioneering mental health initiative which aims to prevent future problems.

The Distress Brief Intervention project was set up two years ago, and offers support to patients at GP practices or accident and emergency units.

It has helped almost 3,000 people since then, although it is currently only available to those aged 18 and over.

But from the summer the scheme, which is currently being trialled, is being extended to teens aged 16 and 17.

The initiative involves specially trained staff helping people to manage difficult emotions and problem situations early on, coming up with a "distress plan" to help prevent future mental health crises.

'Absolute priority'

Mental health minister Clare Haughey described mental health as "absolute priority" for the Scottish government.

She added: "Our 10-year mental health strategy clearly sets out our vision to address a number of challenges, including the provision of more efficient and effective mental health services and supporting mental health in primary care.

"Our pilot DBI services have already made significant progress over the past two years, so I'm pleased to announce these will now be extended to 16 and 17-year-olds from the summer.

"Early intervention like this is such an important part of how we treat mental and emotional health and the DBI is all about equipping people with the skills and support to manage their own health and to prevent future crisis."

The scheme is currently being trialled in Lanarkshire, the Borders, Inverness and Aberdeen.

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