Mental health services are to be boosted by £500,000 of extra funding, the Scottish government has announced..
The funding comes on top of the existing £1,125,000 allocated to NHS 24 for mental health.

It will be used to improve the services offered to people experiencing low mood, depression and anxiety,

The number of people contacting NHS 24’s mental health line has more than doubled over the past decade, rising from 38,000 in 2006 to 87,000 in 2016.

NHS 24 services support those who need unscheduled care but do not need to contact emergency services.

Paula Shiels, a senior mental health nurse at NHS 24, told BBC Scotland it was hoped the money would be used to develop and deliver mental health services across Scotland in a “very different way”.

This would include access to guided self-help and therapy over the telephone, she said.

“For many people it’s really beneficial because actually the most difficult thing for people to do is to take that first step and have that face-to-face conversation about their mental health and wellbeing.

“So the opportunity across all our services – including our 111 service – is that ability to have that conversation in what can feel a very safe way because you’re not exposing yourself in that face-to face perspective.”

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