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Scottish Government announce £30 million mental health funding following youth-led report on support and services

The Scottish Government has announced £30 million for community-based mental health projects following an independent report into support and services by the Scottish Youth Parliament (SYP).

The Communities Mental Health and Wellbeing Fund for Adults, and the Children and Young People’s Community Mental Health and Wellbeing Supports funds have been awarded £15 million each for 2024-25, helping to support a range of groups and services around the country.

In 2022, Members of Scottish Youth Parliament (MSYPs) formed the Mental Health Investigation Team to deliver a youth-led approach for evaluating mental health services, which was supported by Children in Scotland, and subsequently called on the government to provide additional funding to address the barriers that prevent access to high quality support, particularly for children and young people.

Findings from the Mental Health Investigation Team’s report showed that 61% of young people surveyed were receiving or had received support from more than one type of mental health service, while government figures show more than 58,000 children, young people and their families accessed community mental support services in the first half of last year.

The Scottish Government used the findings and recommendations from SYP’s report to consider the critical importance of providing mental health support to children, young people and families across Scotland, alleviating the continued impact of the pandemic.

With young people continually highlighting the need for mental health and wellbeing support, SYP (click here for more) has welcomed the news of increased funding.

Ellie Criag MSYP Vice Chair of the Scottish Youth Parliament said: “Young people have told their MSYPs for years that mental health support is a priority for them and we know for services to be effective, they need to be properly resourced.

“This welcome funding announcement highlights the power of youth-led research into issues which affect young people. We were able to capture evidence, as peers, facilitating focus groups which would not have been possible through adult led research.”

First Minister Humza Yousaf said: “This further £30 million will fund community-based projects which are focused on prevention and early intervention, and this is a significant step forward in supporting people’s mental health and wellbeing by making sure they can easily access the help they need, when and where they need it.”

The new funding means more than £65 million has been made available to local authorities since 2020 to deliver community-based mental health and wellbeing support for five to 24 year-olds and their families, which includes mentoring, art-based therapies, digital services, whole-family support, counselling and sport or physical activities.

For more information on Scottish Youth Parliament’s youth-led approach to evaluating community based mental health services, click here:

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