Scottish Conservative and Unionist candidate Craig Hoy for East Lothian in the South of Scotland region is pledging to guarantee 10 per cent of the health budget will be ring-fenced for mental health treatment.
Craig has highlighted a range of proposals from party leader Douglas Ross which would ensure people in East Lothian 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.
Craig says the pandemic has only heightened the issues surrounding people’s mental health and that too many people, even prior to the pandemic, wait too long for mental health treatment in East Lothian.
The range of measures announced by the Scottish Conservatives also include plans to boost people’s physical health. Craig Hoy says gyms in East Lothian 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.
Party leader Douglas Ross has also pledged to fight to bring the 2030 World Cup final to Hampden.
Commenting, Scottish Conservative and Unionist candidate Craig Hoy 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 East Lothian 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 East Lothian.
“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 East Lothian, 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 East Lothian 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.”