Funding to invest in and develop additional mental health and wellbeing services for children and young people is on its way to Highland

During the Highland Council’s Health, Social Care and Wellbeing Committee which took place last week, Members were updated on a package of funding due to be provided by Scottish Government to support mental health and wellbeing services for children, young people and their families. 

Of the overall package of funding being made available across Scotland, Highland will benefit from more than £700,000 of this.  This total is made up of:  £178,000 to enable close working with existing partners to build upon support which is already in place within communities, and a further £534,000 for the development and introduction of new mental health services for children and young people. 

Those aged 5 – 24 (26 if care experienced) and their families and carers are set to benefit from the services which will be made available with the grant. 

The Caithness area – which has seen a number of traumatic events in recent months which are thought to be related to mental health – will act as an initial pilot and pathfinder area.  Best practice and reflection of which methods and services work well within Caithness will then inform the expansion to a pan-Highland approach. 

The ‘whole system approach’ to supporting mental health across Highland communities will be informed by outcomes from a mental health and well-being summit which is being organised for February 2021.  Young people who have first-hand experience of mental health issues, along with Elected Members, will participate in this summit. 

Cllr Linda Munro, Chair of the Health, Social Care and Wellbeing Committee, said:  “This funding announcement was made by Scottish Government just two weeks ago and I am heartened to see the progress and pace at which it’s already moving.  Investing and developing additional local services to enable early intervention to support the mental health and emotional wellbeing of the children and young people within Highland is crucial, particularly within the current circumstances.” 

She continued:  “An additional highlight is Scottish Government’s framework for use of this funding provides Local Authorities with flexibly and discretion to make decisions and tailor services to meet the needs of our local area and support positive outcomes.” 

ENDS

18 Nov 2020
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