Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:48 pm on 14th May 2019.

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Photo of Lisa Cameron Lisa Cameron Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Mental Health) 4:48 pm, 14th May 2019

This is always a difficult situation, because when people self-medicate, they tend to take the drugs that are available. They may take something that has an impact on their behaviour and personality, which may then have an impact on their life if they become involved in crime and so on. The types of drugs that are coming on to the market seem to lower people’s inhibitions, so they can get into terrible difficulties with the criminal justice system, but their difficulties—their underlying trauma and addiction—are not dealt with. That money is welcome, but we have a long way to go to ensure that we also deal with other issues.

Finally, it is important not to forget about our veterans when it comes to public health. These individuals who have served us may be invisible, silent or hidden in the background, but they need interventions and they need us to reach out. I wanted to mention the excellent Veterans First Point service in Lanarkshire for providing counselling without a waiting list to our local veterans to ensure that their needs are met.

I thank everybody who will take part in this extremely important and timely debate. The more that we can do in terms of public health, the better success we will have in years to come in dealing with inequality and the underlying issues that mean those in our society who did not get the best start do not get the chances that they deserve. We can achieve that only by working together on a cross-Government basis, with local councils and within communities, and I look forward to working with everybody in the Chamber who has an interest in moving this issue forward to ensure that progress is made.