Supporting implementation of mental health improvement

Central government

Under the Single Outcome Agreement between the Scottish Government and the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA), the Scottish Government sets the direction, policy and overarching outcomes for policy, but leaves detailed management of local services to local authorities [external site] in order to develop and deliver in co-operation with community planning partnerships. In the area of mental health improvement, the main roles of the Scottish Government are to:

  • give national leadership to the mental health improvement agenda and foster a culture which encourages mental health improvement
  • set, in partnership with others, the strategic framework for action and national priorities
  • support delivery organisations to develop and implement interventions and approaches
  • take forward wider policies that contribute towards mental health improvement goals.

Local government

Most council services – including education, community care, employment and social inclusion – are directly relevant to mental health improvement. The main roles of local government are to:

  • give local leadership to the mental health improvement agenda
  • develop local plans for delivery with community planning partners and community health partnerships
  • provide local interventions and approaches
  • embed mental health improvement approaches into other services, building on learning from work on the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003 [PDF: 952kb] and the guidance in With Inclusion in Mind [PDF: 271kb].

NHS Scotland

NHS Scotland has a lead role in health improvement as ‘every healthcare contact is a health improvement opportunity’. The main roles of the NHS in mental health improvement are:

  • to provide national support and leadership for the delivery of mental health improvement through NHS Health Scotland [external site]
  • to support development and deliver local plans for mental health improvement in conjunction with community planning partnerships and community health partnerships
  • to embed mental health improvement into NHS activity, particularly in respect to those at risk of developing mental health problems as a result of substance misuse or other lifestyle issues, and those already experiencing mental health problems.

The third sector

The third sector [external site] makes a significant contribution to the mental health improvement agenda. Its key roles are to:

  • deliver services which promote mental health improvement
  • provide new service approaches and interventions
  • act as a catalyst in promoting active citizenship and social capital to develop community capacity
  • advocate change and improvement for service users and the general population.

Individuals and communities

Advocating for individual responsibility and self-help in mental health improvement is set within a framework, with equal attention to the creation of mentally healthy environments within which individuals and communities are empowered. Improvement to mental wellbeing may be achieved through interventions that change:

  • our behaviour (such as taking regular exercise)
  • our cognitions (interpreting events in a positive light)
  • our motivations (focusing on goals that reflect deeply held values rather than external rewards).