Mental health remains a significant challenge, affecting one in four Scottish adults. As the leading counselling and psychotherapy body in Scotland, BACP is pleased to see the publication of this important ten-year strategy.

Despite increased investment in recent years, far too many people have struggled to get access to talking therapies and other effective interventions that can help them successfully move on with their lives; particularly the young and old, and those from our most deprived communities.

Talking therapies have a critical role to play and we hope that the strategy’s commitment to increasing the mental health workforce will include vital investment into the provision of evidence-based psychological therapies. Our members in Scotland are keen to support the Scottish Government to deliver the step change required to ensure people are given appropriate support, when they need it.

We were also pleased to see an emphasis on children and young people’s mental health. BACP has long campaigned for every secondary school in Scotland to provide access to a professional counsellor, so it is significant for us to see a pledge to review counselling and guidance services in schools. Scotland lags behind when it comes to the provision of school-based counselling and we hope that this is the catalyst for Scotland’s children to be given the same emotional support enjoyed by their peers in other parts of the UK.

The publication of the strategy is an important step, however we now must work together to ensure the strategy has the transformative impact that Scotland needs.