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Extra £3m granted for new suicide prevention fund 

Scottish ministers confirmed a new suicide prevention plan will be published this month.

Mental health: Lib Dems highlight 'decline' in services.
Mental health: Lib Dems highlight 'decline' in services. PA

An extra £3m will be invested into a new suicide prevention fund, the Scottish Government has announced.

Mental health minister Maureen Watt also confirmed that a new suicide prevention plan would be published before the end of the month.

The announcement comes ahead of a debate at Holyrood where the Liberal Democrats will call for a "step change" in mental health investment and services.

The party will use its debating time in the chamber to urge the Scottish Government to do more to address a mental health "crisis".

A motion lodged by the party condemns a "serious and sustained decline" in services "including worsening waits for children, adolescents and adults requiring treatment".

It criticises the government for failing to produce a suicide strategy and for a mental health strategy "widely criticised for its lack of ambition".

The party's health spokesman Alex Cole-Hamilton said: "There are horror stories in virtually every branch of Scotland's mental health system.

"The steady flow of distressing statistics and personal testimonies this past year have confirmed just how bad the situation has become."

https://stv.tv/news/features/1397375-boy-don-t-cry-how-blight-of-suicide-is-affecting-families/ | default

He continued: "Young people are suffering. Adults are waiting years for help. Mothers in more than half the country don't have the help they should to hand. Suicide rates are rising but the plan to counter them is more than 500 days late. The list goes on.

"Staff are working incredibly hard but they don't have the resources and support they need. We are at crisis point.

"We are using our debate today to demand the Scottish Government breaks the cycle of years of under-investment in mental health and delivers a step change in the way we treat it. Nothing less is acceptable."

Watt announced extra funding for suicide prevention on top of existing £2m annual spending.

She said: "Our suicide prevention plan will invest an extra £3m into a new suicide prevention fund to support a leadership group to secure innovation and act as a driver for new work to help prevent suicides across Scotland.

"This is on top of the current spending of over £2m annually on suicide prevention services.

"As we begin to break down the stigma and better understand how to care for mental health the demand increases and we expect to see detailed plans for taking forward new models of support and services to improve performance, including through partnership with the third sector.

"We are also working with those who have used services to ensure that as we reshape services we reflect the needs of those seeking support and treatment and align this with medical delivery plans."

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