Wednesday, 22 May 2024
Wednesday, 22 May 2024

Voices of lived experience call for ambitious changes to Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy

PEOPLE want to see real and ambitious changes in how we design, deliver and access mental health support and services in Scotland. This is one of the key findings from the Scottish Recovery Network’s A Chance for Change report and just launched animation.

The Scottish Government consultation on a new Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy is underway. To feed into this the Scottish Recovery Network is engaging with people with lived experience of mental health challenges, front-line practitioners and those with an interest in mental health recovery to ensure their voices inform the development of this new plan. 

The A Chance for Change report highlights a series of key outcomes people want to see from the new Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy. This includes a mental health system that moves away from an over-burdened focus on medical and clinical responses to a one that equally values a wide range of services and support across sectors. A collaborative system where the NHS, Third Sector and all the good work happening on the ground in communities is nurtured and invested in. People said they want:

 “More options available to people, one size fits all approaches don’t always work for everyone” 

 “A role for professionals but less reliance on professionals”

“More community groups and community things – instead of medication or as well as medication”

People also felt that at the heart of the strategy should be the knowledge, skills and experiences of people with lived experience of mental health challenges. There is a call for lived experience not to be an add-on but to be fully integrated into the development of policy, service design and delivery on an ongoing basis. Linked to this was a strong call for peer support and peer worker roles to be a mainstream part of our mental health system.

One person commented:

“A recognition of the value of lived experience. Services shaped by people in a significant influential way”

Another person said: “I’d like a strategy that is shaped by people with lived experience, that we are listened to and not just given a pat on the head”

Scottish Recovery Network Director Louise Christie said:

“We are delighted to be involved in the development of the Scottish Government’s new Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy. The A Chance for Change report highlights that people want the strategy to take a whole-person approach. A recovery-focused approach that embraces collaboration across sectors and invests in different routes to and types of support.

“We look forward to continuing our work with people across Scotland, particularly those with lived experience of mental health challenges and the people and organisations who support them. Despite the challenges we all face, in our lives and in work, this is an exciting time and one where together we can bring about much-needed change”

Watch the A Chance for Change animation which provides an overview of what people said.

Read the full report or summary report (BSL and Word versions are also available via this link).

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