Mental health strategic influencing in Scotland

Scottish Government Research Advisory Group on Mental Health

This group is analysing all the mental health research data carried out during COVID, both lockdown and after, in an attempt to inform Scottish Government about an updated Mental Health Strategy in light of recent COVID pandemic.

The group is setting up an advisory panel for those with lived experience of having a mental health problem or caring for someone with a mental health problem.  We play a key role in feeding in carer views on finding of research and the resulting possible key mental health strategy messages.

Mental Health Improvement Advisory Board

This group is specifically tasked with mental health and overseeing quality improvement in areas such as patient safety; observation practice; use of restraint methods; seclusion of people within services; substance misuse and early intervention in psychosis.

Although the group has been in existence, and we have been members of it, for around four years, 2020 will be a refresh start for it.  This is to take into account some changes within mental health improvement and learning from COVID.

Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland Carers Advisory Board

Established by Executive of Mental Welfare Commission this advisory group comprises of carers and carer organisations.  It provides feedback to Commission on issues concerning carers as well as feedback about work of Commission and its strategies going forward each year.

Find out more about the Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland Carers Advisory Board

Scottish Mental Health Law Review

This is a review of the Mental Health (Care & Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003, Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act 2000 and Adult Support and Protection (Scotland) Act 2007 pieces of legislation which was set up by Minister for Mental Health in Scottish Government.  The review is chaired by John Scott QC and is made up of an Executive Team with people with lived experience at its heart.  We represent National Carer Organisations on this Executive Team and it various advisory groups.

Carers play an integral part of the advisory groups to the Executive and are supported by ourselves to take part in this.

Find out more about the Scottish Mental Health Law Review

Cross Party Group on Mental Health

Carers Trust are members of this group to ensure carer voices and views are heard within this influential body scrutinising all areas of mental health service provision.

Find out more about the Cross Party Group on Mental Health

Implementation Oversight Group: Review of the arrangements for investigating the deaths of patients being treated for mental disorder

Set up after an enquiry into unlawful death in detention of a patient using an in-patient mental health facility.  The group brings together mental health professionals, police, procurator fiscal, those with lived experience of mental health and unpaid carers affected by suicide and deaths in detention.  Carers Trust Scotland represents National Carer Organisations and carers on this group, ensuring bereaved carers views are shared and heard.

Forensic Network

This is a national network across all forensic mental health estates in Scotland, from high secure to Intensive Psychiatric Care Units.  Within this is a specific group for forensic carers which Carers Trust Scotland plays a pivotal role in the implementation of Triangle of Care throughout the forensic mental health estate.  Carers Trust also provides support to carer engagement staff within this estate.

Early Intervention in Psychosis Lived Experience Reference Group

This is a group of people with lived experience of psychosis, their carers and organisations who represent people with lived experience of psychosis.  It was set up following the announcement by Scottish Government in 2018 that “people presenting for the first time with psychosis anywhere in Scotland will have timely access to effective care and treatment, with early intervention and a focus on recovery”

The Lived Experience Reference Group is part of the National Early Intervention in Psychosis Improvement Network and is co-chaired between Healthcare Improvement Scotland and Support in Mind Scotland. Carers Trust Scotland represent the National Carer Organisations and gathers experience of carers of people with psychosis who may not want to sit on this group but who do want to contribute to the further development of early intervention services. 

Find out more about the Early Intervention in Psychosis Lived Experience Reference Group

Triangle of Care

This is an alliance between service user, mental health staff and unpaid carers in an attempt to ensure clear and consistent communication and information is provided across all mental health services.  The resource is based on six self-assessments for services to complete and produce action plans against.  This ensures that:

  1. carers (of all ages) are identified and supported;
  2. staff are ‘carer aware’ in engaging and working with carers in partnership;
  3. protocols for sharing information and dealing with confidentiality are in place;
  4. a staff lead is responsible for ensuring carers are communicated with;
  5. carers receive information at relevant points in a patient’s journey towards recovery; and that
  6. mental health staff are aware of carer services within the community and online so they can signpost and/or refer a carer to an appropriate place of help/advice/support.

Find out more about Triangle of Care: supporting carers of people experiencing mental health problems in Scotland.