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There is no health without mental health - our story

April 18, 2021 4:40 PM
By Alison Simpson

I've lived here since 1987 - all my adult life.

In 1997, I entered Community Economic Development and found my passion. In 2005, after a short spell working for the Moray Council, Set up my own business - and developed, planned and fundraised community and charity projects right across the North East. In each, I've worked with amazing people upon whose shoulders success ultimately rests.

I learned to listen, to understand complex issues, rules and regulations adapting to change in our economy and environment. I've felt frustration with government spending choices and lobbied for change, with significant success.

But 2016 changed everything. My 24-year-old son became severely mentally ill - and after one traumatic night in Edinburgh, was detained for 8 weeks under the Mental Health Act.

Bringing him home, we learned some hard new lessons.

After 14 years of SNP Government, mental health services are chronically underfunded. Our mental health professionals and support services are wonderful, but they are frighteningly scarce with treatment beds, too, in short supply.

Scotland must do better. Our family is a strong and supportive one, but we have struggled, and for many there is no one to help. My amazing family. (Alison Simpson)

For us, time and care has made a difference, but a year of lockdown has stopped many services, and brought new challenges for sure. The few professionals we saw before are no longer visible. All the regular appointments have stopped - and that's really worrying.

Scottish Liberal Democrats have already won extra funding for mental health, education and businesses.

We will push for more. Trained mental health specialists for Community Centres, Hospitals and Schools, boosted Skills and Pay for Care Worker. We need greater support for every Carer.

I know what it's like to have to fight for support, treatment and resources that should be readily available, and close at hand, but are not.

Give us your Party Vote on May 6th to get North East MSPs who'll work across Parliament to set things right. I'll make certain they do.