Yesterday, on Thursday 10th of October, World Mental Health Day, Argyll and Bute MSP Michael Russell published the analysis report from his recent Mental Health Survey for Argyll and Bute.

This follows on from the report being discussed and explored at a meeting with Scottish Government Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport Jeane Freeman and a number of local representatives from Mental Health services.

Commenting, Michael Russell MSP said:

“I am pleased to present my Analysis Report of the Mental Health in Argyll and Bute survey, especially as it is World Mental Health Day.

This was an instrumental part of our meeting with Jeane Freeman last week which lead to a mutual feeling that the concern expressed about mental health services in Argyll and Bute has to be heard and ensuring the best possible support is available is now the objective of all involved.

It is crucial that mental health is given the same attitude and care as physical health and as it is a day of awareness it is a great opportunity to reflect on this.”

Last Friday (October 4th) Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport, Jeane Freeman, met with a number of representatives of mental health services in Argyll and Bute at a round table meeting chaired by local MSP Michael Russell.

Following the successful survey seeking to find a range of perspectives on Argyll and Bute mental health care, which saw 350 respondents share their experience, Argyll and Bute MSP Michael Russell invited representatives from all levels of mental health care to meet with the Cabinet Secretary and discuss how services can be improved.

Commenting after the event local MSP Michael Russell who chaired the event said:

“I am very grateful to all those who took part including those with experience of mental health issues, local medical and third sector practitioners, the Health and Social Care Partnership, education and the Police. It was particularly important for everyone to have Jeane Freeman there to respond to the concerns and experiences that were related and to suggest ways forward.  

“There is a great deal of concern in Argyll and Bute about mental health services and finding ways to improve access, decrease waiting times and ensure the best possible support and help was the clear objective of everyone present. I hope that future interaction with Mental Health Forum’s as well as follow up from the Cabinet Secretary and the Health and Social Care Partnership, including the effect of new monies coming into the system for support in schools and the community, will make a difference as will improved methods of working. I am very committed to continuing and sustained changes as well as a service that is designed for, and by, those who need it most alongside those who work in mental health services every day.”

Argyll and Bute MSP Michael Russell is running a fact finding survey to hear from constituents in Argyll and Bute on their experiences of our local Mental Health services in order to provide feedback to Scottish Government Minister for Mental Health Clare Haughey MSP along with key local organisations at a summit in Dunoon later this year.

The survey has now been accessible online for just over a fortnight but has already had hundreds of responses from constituents with a great range of backgrounds including service users, staff working in the services and friends and family who have helped loved ones gain access to the support they need.

Commenting on the survey, Argyll and Bute MSP Michael Russell said:

“It has been excellent to see so many people getting involved and providing feedback on their experience of our mental health services. Mental health care is an absolute lifeline to so many of us and it is crucial that the services provided are as good as they can be. By contributing to our survey you are ensuring that your voice and your experience is heard by those who will shape the future of the services.

I would encourage anyone who has not yet taken part to set some time aside and complete our survey.”

The survey will remain available online until Friday 23rd of August at: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/JYKKRHK

Paper copies can also be made available on request.