On Tuesday 19th April 2022, VOX Scotland invited our individual and group members to attend an online session to discuss the outcomes they thought should be included and prioritised in The Scottish Government’s refreshed Mental Health Strategy for Scotland.
Eight individual participants took part and two participants from group member organisations – CAPS Advocacy (representing an LGBTQI group and an Ethnic Minorities group) and Circles Network Advocacy (forensic patients). We also included viewpoints from our recent “deep dives” work looking at access to services to help shape the outcomes, this work included a further 15 participants.
In total 25 participants’ viewpoints were included in this reponse to the Scottish Government’s Mental Health Strategy refresh. The session was facilitated by VOX manager, Wendy McAuslan, and supported by VOX Development Officer, Paula Fraser.
From the wide-ranging discussion that took place during the session, VOX Members shared their priorities for what should be delivered through the Mental Health Strategy Refresh:
1. A Scotland where mental health and wellbeing education is integrated, started early and is available to all throughout school, work and other areas of life, with consistent emphasis and opportunities.
2. A fair, equal Scotland, free from discrimination and stigma.
3. A Scotland where accessible, local, inclusive community facilities are available to all, with a range of activities and opportunities for enjoyment, wellbeing, upskilling, learning, contributing, supporting, and importantly, connecting with others.
4. A Scotland where services, support and care for people experiencing mental ill health are actually Person-Centred and flexible in all geographical areas, so that individuals feel treated as unique human beings, their views, feelings, thoughts, rights and choices listened to, considered and respected in equal, open conversations between professionals and those being supported.
5. A Scotland where there are wraparound services and support for people experiencing mental health issues in all areas (rural or urban): inclusive, supportive, flexible, consistent and accessible services, care and support, so that people are able to access what they need, when they need it, and are trusted and listened to about what and when that is.