Increasing mental health support in Scottish GP practices

More mental health and wellbeing services will be provided within GP practices and community settings, backed by significant investment of up to £40 million a year.

The Scottish Government says that, under the new system, patients who need mental health support will find a range of professionals available through their doctor’s surgery, rather than having to rely solely on their GP or a referral elsewhere. These could include mental health nurses, psychologists, peer support workers, occupational therapists, and link workers.

Funding of £1.5 million has already been made available from the Mental Health Recovery and Renewal Fund. This will increase annually to support implementation of the new Mental Health and Wellbeing Primary Care Services, reaching an expected £40 million per year by 2024-25.

Minister for Mental Wellbeing Kevin Stewart said: “Mental ill health is one of the major public health challenges in Scotland. We know the pandemic has had a significant impact, which is why mental health has remained a priority throughout our response to Covid-19.

“Around a third of all GP consultations now has a mental health component. But the range and complexity of issues requires a more varied and comprehensive response. This new multi-disciplinary model will deliver our commitment to provide 1,000 additional dedicated mental health staff by 2026, supporting communities to improve their mental health.”