Scotlandís National Programme for Improving Mental Health and Wellbeing was launched in 2001 and forms part of the Scottish Governmentís wider policy on improving Scotlandís health and reducing health inequalities. The National Programme was the first step towards trying to change Scotlandís record of mental health problems at a time when Scotlandís suicide rate was on the rise and depression and anxiety were (and remain) the third and fourth most common conditions reported in GP consultations.
The vision of the National Programme is to improve the mental health and wellbeing of people living in Scotland and to improve the quality of life and social inclusion of those who experience mental health problems. The Action Plan for the first phase (2003Ė2006) set out four main aims and six priority areas which have been implemented via a number of major national initiatives and a range of support activities as well as by seeding many other smaller projects, posts and ideas.
The purpose of this independent review of the National Programme was to examine progress in achieving the aims set out in the Action Plan (between 2003Ė2006), to assess its influence and impacts, and to arrive at conclusions that could inform the future direction of policy on mental health improvement in Scotland.
The review was conducted by an independent expert panel comprising
Professor David Hunter (chair), Professor of Health Policy and Management, Durham University,
Professor Margaret Barry, Professor of Health Promotion and Public Health,
Department of Health Promotion, National University of Ireland, Galway,
Dr Andrew McCulloch, Chief Executive, Mental Health Foundation