Scotland’s New Mental Health Strategy


The Scottish government has released its new mental health strategy, which includes the note that “crisis houses offer intensive short-term support to help resolve a crisis in a residential rather than hospital setting. There is no single model for a crisis house, but they are often run by third sector organisations and can provide a key location for undertaking peer to peer support … The themes above and commitments set out throughout this Strategy promise a system where therapies are more readily available, but also where there is a wider range of responses, including social prescribing, self help and peer to peer work … This marks a move away from the model where, uniformly, the doctor diagnoses and treats illness, to a wider range of responses ….”

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Related Items:
New mental health strategy (Article on Scottish government website)
Strategy on government website

Note from Kermit Cole, “In the News” editor:
Thanks to Chrys Muirhead for alerting us to this (and providing the excerpts above).

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Kermit Cole
Kermit Cole, MFT, founding editor of Mad in America, works in Santa Fe, New Mexico as a couples and family therapist. Inspired by Open Dialogue, he works as part of a team and consults with couples and families that have members identified as patients. His work in residential treatment — largely with severely traumatized and/or "psychotic" clients — led to an appreciation of the power and beauty of systemic philosophy and practice, as the alternative to the prevailing focus on individual pathology. A former film-maker, he has undergraduate and master's degrees in psychology from Harvard University, as well as an MFT degree from the Council for Relationships in Philadelphia. He is a doctoral candidate with the Taos Institute and the Free University of Brussels. You can reach him at [email protected].


  1. A tiny, tiny start. However, watch how fast anyone who works at this government funded crisis house gets fired if they dare tell the people on community commitment that they don’t have a brain disease and their human rights are being violated.

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  2. Let’s agree to differ Anonymous.

    The crisis houses are not likely to be all government funded and even if so does not mean a negative outcome. We have one already, the Edinburgh Crisis Centre in the capital:
    People self refer, it’s for carers also and isn’t a ‘clinical’ service. Service users, carers and family members campaigned for this service/project and influence the running of it.

    There is room in Scotland for people like me to have alternative views of mental distress and treatment/support. It’s not easy but hey that’s what makes life interesting. Being optimistic with a streak of realism and opportunism.

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