Shetland MSP and Scottish Liberal Democrat, Beatrice Wishart, has chaired the first meeting of the Cross Party Group (CPG) on Mental Health where it was agreed to hold an inquiry into the impact of Covid-19 on Mental Health. Ms Wishart is a co-convener of the group which is made up of stakeholders and politicians across a range of political persuasions represented in Holyrood. She shares the convenership with MSPs Oliver Mundell (Conservative) and Emma Harper (SNP).
Ms Wishart was a member of the CPG on mental health in the previous session of the Scottish Parliament. During the Scottish Parliament election Ms Wishart called for urgent action to prevent a ‘mental health tidal wave prompted by the pandemic’. Scottish Liberal Democrats have long campaigned for parity of care for mental health with physical health.
Ms Wishart is also a member of the Crofting, and Oil & Gas CPGs, the first meetings of these, this parliamentary session, will be held on Wednesday 15th September. Ms Wishart is also part of a group which met last week to establish a CPG on Long Covid. Ms Wishart previously called on islanders to get in contact with her and NHS Shetland in order to understand the scale of patients’ needs and ensure Shetland had the means to treat Long Covid patients.
After the CPG on Mental Health meeting Ms Wishart commented:
“I am pleased to have chaired the first meeting of the group and to be a Co-Convener. There was a crisis in mental health services before the pandemic, but Covid-19 has highlighted to everyone just how important it is to have good mental health support.
“We need to ensure that we have the proper resources and funding to help tackle mental health. Covid-19 is likely to have a long-term impact on many people’s mental health and we cannot allow a generation to be lost due to a lack of help available.
“I have been calling on the Scottish Government for parity of treatment for mental health with physical health. This has been especially tough to achieve in areas already plagued by recruitment issues for healthcare professionals.”