Mental health warning as hundreds of applicants to Government fund miss out

Mental health warning as hundreds of applicants to Government fund miss out

Hundreds of community mental health projects could miss out after just over half of applications for funding were granted by ministers, Scottish Labour has warned.

The Communities Mental Health and Wellbeing Fund, funded by the Scottish Government and delivered by Third Sector Interface (TSI), authorised 1,461 projects set up to offer local support by March 2023.

However, the scheme, which delivers funding to community initiatives across Scotland’s 32 local authority areas, received 2,585 applications to the fund in 2022/23 – meaning 43% were outstanding.

The scheme was launched in 2021 following the Covid-19 pandemic.

Paul Sweeney, mental health spokesman for Scottish Labour, said the figures showed the country was in the “grips of a mental health crisis and services across the board are struggling to cope”.

He added: “This funding was designed to support the vital work being done by community mental health services, but hundreds of projects stand to miss out.

“Along with the chaos in NHS services, and the slow progress on school counselling, this is just the latest in a long list of failures under the SNP.

“The government’s sticking plaster approach isn’t working – we need a comprehensive plan to ensure people can get the mental health support they need when they need it.”

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “We have invested £36 million in our Communities Mental Health and Wellbeing Fund for adults over two years, with approximately 3,300 grants being made to local organisations across Scotland and we are committing a further £15 million in 2023-24.

“This is just one of a number of actions we are taking to ensure more people have their needs met as early as possible – a key ambition in our new Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy.”

Mental health funding from the Scottish Government also includes providing counselling services in schools for all children over the age of 10.

Published: by Radio NewsHub