Scottish ministers have announced an additional £1m for mental health services to support families, young people and those with autism.
Health secretary Jeane Freeman made the announcement yesterday (3 May), following 40 days of lockdown when many people have felt an effect on their mental health.
The addition funding includes £768,000 for a relationships helpline to be delivered by The Spark counselling service.
The number of the helpline is 0808 802 2088 and this additional funding will enable the helpline to operate from Monday to Thursday, 9am to 9pm and Friday, 9am to 4pm.
The Scottish Government will also give £105,000 to support Young Scot to develop enhanced digital content and resources on mental health.
And £205,000 will go to support 47,000 autistic people across Scotland, including funding to increase capacity at the Scottish Autism Helpline and help for the National Autistic Society to keep people in touch online during lockdown.
The funding comes as the BBC starts to screen series of documentaries to mark Mental Health Awareness Week.
The season will include a film on tackling mental health with the Duke of Cambridge, where he meets players, fans and managers from grassroots to the elite as part of his efforts to start the biggest ever conversation on mental health, through football.
‘While everyone is experiencing different challenges at this time, the mental health of children, young people and families can be put under great strain,’ said Ms Freeman.
‘We appreciate that spending a lot of time together in isolation and home-working, home-schooling and juggling childcare can be really tough.
‘This crisis means many people are dealing with anxiety, fear, uncertainty, anger or sadness. They may feel overwhelmed and relationships can be placed under a lot of pressure,’ added the minister.
‘We want to ensure that the right help and support is in place for the mental wellbeing of our children, young people and families. This package of measures focuses on prevention and recovery, and on maintaining healthy relationships throughout the current restrictions. It follows the launch of our national campaign, Clear Your Head, last week.’
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