Scotland politics

Nicola Sturgeon to announce £54m boost for mental health services

An extra £54m is to be spent on providing better access to mental health services in Scotland, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced.

The money, being spread over the next four years, will be used to expand provision for young people.

It is also set to improve the availability of psychological therapies for patients of all ages.

The first minister said: "Delivering the very best mental health services is a priority for this government."

The Scottish government said the latest funding would aim to offer treatment to an additional 10,000 patients in the first year, an increase of about 25% on current numbers, rising to 20,000 in 2019/20.

Ms Sturgeon said: "It is vital that the health service is properly equipped to give those who need support and treatment access to mental health services as early as possible.

"We have been investing heavily for a number of years but there is still work to be done, particularly as awareness of mental health issues increases and the stigma in seeking support is reduced.

"Scotland was the first country in the UK to have a mental health waiting times target - a sign of how importantly we view this issue."

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