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Covid-19 (Mental Health)

– in the Scottish Parliament on 19th March 2020.

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Photo of Jackie Baillie Jackie Baillie Labour

The First Minister will be aware that those with an existing mental health condition—whether it is anxiety, depression, psychosis or paranoia—will have their condition exacerbated by the circumstances of the pandemic. Will she increase the resources and capacity of Breathing Space, which provides really valuable support? What other plans does she have to take care of those with existing mental health conditions and for the wellbeing of the whole population?

Photo of Nicola Sturgeon Nicola Sturgeon Scottish National Party

The short answer is yes. If Breathing Space wants to contact us, we will look at how we support it. Part of the funding that was announced yesterday is to support organisations on the front-line that are providing crucial support.

I have already referenced my visit to Age Scotland yesterday. We have given additional funding to allow the expansion of its helpline, but other organisations—Breathing Space is a very good example—will have greater demand placed on their services.

As people are social distancing and self-isolating, the services will become more important in ensuring that the human connections that are so vital to all our lives continue. We very much want to do everything that we can to make sure that those vital organisations have the support that they need.