Today at First Minister’s Questions, Jackie Baillie MSP, asked the First Minister to ensure that there was adequate resources and funding to deal with the increased pressure on mental health service providers amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Jackie Baillie called on Nicola Sturgeon to ensure that extra resources were provided to Breathing Space, the free, confidential, phone service for anyone in Scotland over the age of 16 experiencing low mood, depression or anxiety in order for them to be able to offer advice to those calling with Covid-19 related anxiety and mental health issues.
Jackie Baillie, MSP for Dumbarton, said: “Whether you have anxiety, depression, psychosis or paranoia, your conditions are highly likely to be exacerbated by the circumstances caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. It is vital during these extraordinary times that we take care of not just our physical health, but our mental health too.
“I have called on Nicola Sturgeon and her government to provide necessary funding to Breathing Space and other mental health organisations so that they can increase the vital work that they do.
“The First Minister has a duty of care to ensure that the well-being of the population is protected during this outbreak and I look forward to working with her to ensure that my constituents feel protected, supported and safe in the weeks and months ahead.”
Nicola Sturgeon assured the MSP: “If Breathing Space wants to contact us, we will look at how we support it. Part of the funding that was announced yesterday is to support organisations on the front-line that are providing crucial support. I have already referenced my visit to Age Scotland yesterday.
“We have given additional funding to allow the expansion of its helpline, but other organisations—Breathing Space is a very good example—will have greater demand placed on their services.
“As people are social distancing and self-isolating, the services will become more important in ensuring that the human connections that are so vital to all our lives continue. We very much want to do everything that we can to make sure that those vital organisations have the support that they need.”