Mental Ill Health (Impact of Pandemic and Restrictions)

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 26th November 2020.

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Photo of Alex Cole-Hamilton Alex Cole-Hamilton Liberal Democrat

Yesterday, Deputy Chief Constable Will Kerr presented a troubling new report to the Scottish Police Authority, laying out the scale of the mental health crisis in our communities. He said:

“The level of demand has outstripped capacity” and Police Scotland’s

“professional ability to deal with it.”

He also said that the statistics that were published this week, showing 833 probable suicides in Scotland in the year before the pandemic, reflected an increase that

“should worry us all”.

I have asked the minister before about improving suicide reporting so that we can get closer to having real-time alerts and so that crisis response services can be better informed and prepared. Will the minister make a commitment that that will happen for the new year?