We’re pleased to see four of our General Election key policies reflected in many of the Scottish manifestos published this week.

Expanding support in NHS and GP settings  

Our manifesto calls for better utilisation of the counselling and psychotherapy workforce in Scotland to urgently meet the commitment to expand much-needed mental health support in GP settings, and across wider NHS settings.  

The Scottish Liberal Democrats said they would incorporate counsellors into the NHS workforce planning, so their skills can help more people. This was alongside a broader aspiration for additional mental health professionals to work alongside GPs, in A&Es, with the police and prison staff, and for increased access to clinically effective talking therapies.    

Scottish Labour highlighted the need for improved referral and triage for mental health services. They’ve also committed to providing a mental health professional in every GP surgery to tackle unmet needs. 

The Scottish Conservatives highlighted that only 14% of GPs felt they had sufficient access to mental health practitioners. They also noted that the existing SNP commitment to embed a mental health worker in every GP practice, needed to be implemented as a matter of urgency.  

Conversion therapy 

Scottish Labour, the Scottish Green Party and the Scottish Liberal Democrats have all supported our commitment to a trans-inclusive ban on conversion therapy.

The Scottish Conservatives have reflected the disappointing position of the UK Conservative party in noting they will undertake a review before committing to a legislative ban.  

Improved third sector support 

We’ve called for better support and engagement of voluntary and community mental health and counselling providers.  

So we welcome Scottish Labour’s commitment to increased use of community and voluntary sector provision, to improve the support available to people in their own communities.  

We also welcome the Scottish Conservatives call for the development of a new Rural Mental Health Taskforce to bring together charities and third sector organisations to ascertain how best to improve access to support.   

Student counselling  

Our manifesto called for the restoration of funding for counselling across Higher and Further Education settings, in the face of the growing high levels of need in universities. Disappointingly only the Scottish Liberal Democrats supported our campaign to provide counsellors in all schools and at every stage of education, including in Higher and Further Education. 

Our Four Nations Lead Steve Mulligan said: “It’s pleasing to see mental health as a central element of so many of the Scottish manifestos during this election.    

“It's extremely positive that there are commitments specifically to expanding the counselling workforce in NHS and Education settings, where we know that demand for much-needed support is growing 

“We also welcome the leadership shown by three of the five main parties in Scotland to take forward a trans-inclusive ban on conversion therapy, although we are surprised it wasn’t a commitment of the SNP Government, who have done so much to champion a ban .    

“While there was little mental health content in the SNP own manifesto, we fully support their proposal to secure an additional £1bn extra each year to address budgetary shortfalls in the NHS in Scotland. We would like to see this additional investment being used to bring in much-needed expertise from Scotland’s underutilised counselling workforce” 

Support our General Election campaign  

We’re providing an overview of all the pollical party manifestos as they’re published throughout the General Election campaign.     
You can support our General Election campaign by sharing our manifesto commitments with your local candidates via oureasy-to-use online form.