Our Four Nations Lead Steve Mulligan has welcomed the announcement of more than £1 million additional funding for key mental health services to support families, young people and autistic people in Scotland.

Scottish Health Secretary Jeane Freeman made the announcement on Sunday following 40 days of lockdown during which many people have felt an effect on their mental health.

The allocation of funding comprises:

  • £768,000 for a relationships helpline to be delivered by The Spark counselling service
  • £105,000 to support Young Scot to develop enhanced digital content and resources on mental health
  • £205,000 to support 47,000 autistic people across Scotland, including funding to increase capacity at the Scottish Autism Helpline and help for the National Autistic Society to keep people in touch online during lockdown


Steve said: “We welcome this further investment in counselling support by Scottish Government to help our most vulnerable families and young people during these hugely challenging times.

“This complements the additional counselling and mental support put in place over the past few weeks in Scotland, supporting families, individuals and key workers through the crisis.

“This investment very much reflects the core aims of our Covid 19 campaign and we would like the other nations of the UK to  show similar ambition in their own plans.”


Ms Freeman said: “While everyone is experiencing different challenges at this time, the mental health of children, young people and families can be put under great strain.

“We appreciate that spending a lot of time together in isolation and home-working, home-schooling and juggling childcare can be really tough.

“This crisis means many people are dealing with anxiety, fear, uncertainty, anger or sadness. They may feel overwhelmed and relationships can be placed under a lot of pressure.

“We want to ensure that the right help and support is in place for the mental wellbeing of our children, young people and families. This package of measures focuses on prevention and recovery, and on maintaining healthy relationships throughout the current restrictions.”