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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-10243: Monica Lennon (Central Scotland)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 10 July 2017

To ask the Scottish Government what its response is to the recent survey of Educational Institute of Scotland members, which highlights that 77% of respondents noted increased signs of poverty-related mental ill health in school pupils, and what action it is taking on this issue.

Answered by: John Swinney 26 July 2017

The Scottish Government’s new 10-year Mental Health Strategy was published on 30 March, and sets out our vision to improve mental health in Scotland. A key section in the Strategy deals with prevention and early intervention. That section outlines our ambition that every child and young person should have appropriate access to emotional and mental well-being support in school.

A mental health link person is available to every school, this has been achieved using various models working to meet local needs. The link worker may be a CAMHS clinician or another speciality such as a primary care worker. However the named link person will be able to contact specialist CAMHS services for advice if they have any concerns about a pupil.

Through the Scottish Attainment Challenge we have committed £750 million over the course of this parliament to close the poverty related attainment gap for our pupils from the most deprived areas. The Scottish Attainment Challenge will focus and accelerate targeted improvements in literacy, numeracy and health and wellbeing. The Challenge will build on the range of initiatives and programmes already in place to raise attainment and reduce inequity for children across Scotland.