Mental Health

– Scottish Parliament written question – answered on 15th March 2011.

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Photo of Jackie Baillie Jackie Baillie Labour

Question S3W-39688

To ask the Scottish Executive whether it has a role in (a) monitoring or (b) regulating the use of internet sites that provide advice to people with mental health problems.

Photo of Shona Robison Shona Robison Scottish National Party

The regulation of the internet is reserved to the UK Government under the Scotland Act 1998.

The Scottish Government does monitor the use of specific internet sites that provide advice to people with mental health problems which are supported by its partner organisations. For example, on Breathing Space (hosted by NHS 24) and on Well Scotland (hosted by NHS Health Scotland), information such as number of hits, source of hits, and frequency of hits is collected to inform policy.

Additionally, the Scottish Government actively promotes support to help all people stay safe online, through various national and local initiatives, some of which are listed:

Get Safe Online is a joint initiative between the UK Government, law enforcement, leading businesses and the public sector. Their website www.getsafeonline.org contains advice to help people stay safe online and to avoid some of the risks and threats which exist.

The Scottish Government participates in the UK Council for Child Internet Safety, which is committed to improving the safeguards for young people, and published an Action Plan on Child Internet Safety in February 2010, available at:

http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2010/02/09154928/0. A second action plan is due to be published in March 2011.

Skills Development Scotland provides information through the National Learning Opportunities Database on a wide range of IT courses, including courses that help individuals learn about the responsible use of the computers and the internet. ILA Scotland provides funding for people on lower incomes to access a wide range of IT courses.

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