Our General Election asks have been heard by political parties in Scotland as they launched their manifestos.

Scottish Labour says it will invest in a new programme to support mental health initiatives in the workplace, reflecting our call for employees to have access to workplace counselling.

And Scottish Labour has also responded to our call for “a national programme of counselling support to help tackle addiction, while providing psychological support for families affected by Scotland’s drug death crisis”.

The party’s manifesto said: “In Scotland, addiction services need to be better integrated with mental health treatment. Scottish Labour want increased resources for community-based interventions and restoration of alcohol and drug partnerships’ funding levels …”

End the stigma

The Scottish Lib Dems have pledged to “end the stigma and discrimination surrounding mental health issues”.

And they said they supported the principle that “a fair proportion of all public funding for medical research should be focused on research into mental ill-health”.

This is in line with our call that “research funding should be proportionate to the burden of disease relating to mental health problems in the UK”.

They have also responded to our call that the “level of funding for mental health projects currently obtained through the European Union and European Commission should be matched by the UK Government in the event of Brexit”.

The SNP said it “will call for the devolution of drug policy so the SNP Scottish Government can take all the steps needed to tackle addiction, reduce health risks and take the vital steps to tackle drug-related deaths and harm in Scotland”. ADD - We would like to see this include provision of counselling support for individuals and families affected by drug abuse.

Currently health is a devolved matter which could explain that the SNP, Scottish Conservatives and Scottish Greens made no specific mention of mental health or talking therapies.  Elections for the Scottish Parliament will take place in May 2021.

Election agenda

Steve Mulligan, our Four Nations Lead, said: “We're pleased to see our campaign to place counselling firmly on the General Election agenda is paying off, with good support across the parties for our policies which aim to tackle the big challenges facing Scotland.

"Only by ensuring improved access to counselling and psychotherapy and tackling the postcode lottery on provision will we begin to get to grips with the mental health crisis facing all parts of the UK."

We’ve contacted all parties with our key manifesto asks. And while health is a devolved matter, all the political parties like to reflect local issues in their manifestos. We've developed bespoke manifestos for Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales which highlight specific asks to help meet the key challenges in each nation. 

They have been published as part of our new dedicated election web pages.

The pages include information on what you can do to engage your local General Election candidates to help us protect and promote counselling across the country.

This will include some handy guides, alongside questions that you can put to your election candidate, either in writing or if they knock on your door.

And if you are on social media, use the hashtag #StandUpForCounselling to join in the conversation and see what fellow members are saying.

We will be publishing the commitments relating to counselling and mental health from all parties as announcements are made and manifestos are published.