Orkney’s MSP, Liam McArthur, has welcomed the decision by the Scottish Parliament to declare a mental health crisis following a debate in parliament this afternoon (Wednesday).
Mr McArthur joined colleagues from the Scottish Liberal Democrats in calling for MSPs to declare a mental health emergency so that services and interventions can be improved to meet the scale of the challenge.
In closing the debate, Orkney’s MSP highlighted the significant extent to which mental health services were overwhelmed long before the start of the pandemic.
He went on to point out that these problems have now been pushed to the extreme in the last year and therefore argued that ‘more of the same simply is not good enough’ and that the SNP Government must finally ‘face the fact that Scotland has a mental health crisis.’
Following the debate, Mr McArthur commented:
“Mental health services across Scotland have been stretched to breaking point for many years and that situation has only got worse during the pandemic.
“Increasing numbers of people up and down the country are struggling and urgently need support and treatment. However, services are still not being scaled up to meet this level of demand, leaving people vulnerable and isolated. That simply isn’t good enough.
“Ahead of today’s debate, the Finance Secretary announced further investment in mental health services. This is very welcome, but the failure of Ministers to accept that we face a mental health crisis is inevitably hampering efforts to make best use of these resources.
“I’m pleased, therefore, that parliament has now voted to support the declaration of an emergency. Hopefully, this will give those working in the sector and, importantly, those needing support, greater confidence that the concerns they have been raising will be addressed.”