ELECTION 2021: Conservatives make mental health funding pledge

ELECTION 2021: Conservatives make mental health funding pledge

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TEN per cent of the health budget will be ring-fenced for mental health if the Tories win power at Holyrood, the party's Moray candidate has pledged.

Moray Conservative candidate Tim Eagle. Picture: Becky Saunderson
Moray Conservative candidate Tim Eagle. Picture: Becky Saunderson

Tim Eagle, who is standing for the Conservatives in the Moray constituency, has highlighted a range of proposals from party leader and local MP Douglas Ross which would ensure people in Moray could access mental health support when they need it.

The plans include increasing mental health spending to 10 per cent, from the current level of eight per cent as well as expanding community mental health services such as social prescribing, cognitive therapy and peer support.

Mr Eagle said the pandemic has only heightened the issues surrounding people’s mental health and that too many people, even prior to the pandemic, had waited too long for mental health treatment in Moray.

The range of measures announced by the Scottish Conservatives also include plans to boost people’s physical health. Mr Eagle stated that gyms in Moray should be opened instantly and local leisure facilities should also be supported in their efforts to re-open.

The Scottish Conservatives would also invest £1 million across Scotland to encourage schools to open their facilities to the public.

Mr Ross has also pledged to fight to bring the 2030 World Cup final to Hampden.

Mr Eagle said: “The pressures on people’s mental health has been immense over the last year during the pandemic.

“Even before the pandemic, far too many people in Moray were waiting too long for mental health treatment.

“By guaranteeing 10 per cent of the health budget will be spent on mental health, the Scottish Conservatives will ensure people can access vital support when they need it.

“We must emerge from this crisis in a healthy and active way and that is why I am also backing plans to improve people’s physical health in Moray.

“Gyms can be opened safely immediately which would be a real boost to people’s mental and physical health.

“We also must see facilities being as accessible as possible to the public in Moray, particularly in the evenings and weekend to offer people more opportunities to get active.

“I’m proud to see Douglas Ross leading the fight to bring the World Cup final to Scotland.

“Football is a huge part of life for so many here in Moray and bringing the World Cup to this country would be fantastic.

“Focusing on improving our mental health should be a focus of our parliament in the coming years, rather than the SNP’s plans for another referendum.”

Also contesting the Moray seat are: Jo Kirby (Labour); Richard Lochhead (SNP); Sheila Ritchie (Liberal Democrats); Robert Stephenson (UKIP).

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