One in four Scots will suffer from a mental health issue in their lifetime.
If you’re reading this now, there’s every chance that you or somebody you love have faced a problem like this at some point. And those who have will know one thing: the treatment of mental health in Scotland still has a long way to come.
Suicide remains one of the biggest killers of men aged 20 to 34. UK businesses lose £30.3bn a year due to staff sickness with mental health causes, and depression/anxiety are some of the most common reasons we go and see a GP.
And yet not every GP surgery has a mental health specialist. Key targets in Fife are being missed. 90% of patients should start psychological therapy treatment within 18 weeks of referral, but in Fife only 71% get seen that quickly, compared with 95% in Glasgow. It’s just not acceptable that those with mental problems in Fife are waiting so long for treatment.
My vow is to fight to put mental health on top of the political agenda, and I will fight so that Fife gets its fair share. Mental health problems can be just as painful, just as lethal and just devastating for those who suffer as a physical illness. But we can treat mental illness too, if we invest in treating it.
If you agree with me, you need to vote for the person and the party who will fight for this change. Vote for me, Willie Rennie and the Lib Dems.