Response 6907474

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About You

1. What is your name?

Name
Jude Clarke

3. Are you responding as an individual or an organisation?

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Organisation

5. The Scottish Government would like your permission to publish your consultation response. Please indicate your publishing preference:

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Questions

1. Our framework sets out 8 priorities for a new Mental Health Strategy that we think will transform mental health in Scotland over 10 years. Are these the most important priorities?

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Yes
No
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If no, what priorities do you think will deliver this transformation?
I would like to see MH services move on to reflect changes already taking place in society generally in the area of LGBTI issues and GID (gender Identity Disphoria) in particular.

2. The table in Annex A sets out a number of early actions that we think will support improvements for mental health.

Are there any other actions that you think we need to take to improve mental health in Scotland?
Services are currently located in the Central Belt area in Glasgow in the main, with a limited GID service in Edinburgh. This provides limited accessibility to those in the north, in particular, and in rural areas - this is particularly so for young people. Services are also particularly 'medically' driven at present with specialist psychology services being scarce, anecdotally, with a fear that confiding in psychology services at GICs (Gender Identity Clinics) will impact negatively on treatment - provided on the basis that the individual is mentally 'fit' often pervading. Despite CEL 26 (2012) specialist knowledge of GID issues (for both user and carer) is often not to be found in the health board areas outwith the two GICs. The issue of specialist psychological support for individuals and carers/families could well be seen to be a 'preventative spend' and one that would see reduced suicide figures in this community (if suicide figures were accurately to reflect those who have transitioned or are in the process of doing so. Closer scrutiny of suicide figures would give a more accurate indication of communities at most risk. At present, an individual may be registered in a new gender in death without it being apparent that they have transitioned. This may well be creating a bias in suicide figures with a young person born male physically appearing as a female suicide.).

3. The table in Annex A sets out some of the results we expect to see.

What do you want mental health services in Scotland to look like in 10 years' time?
Fine-tuning suicide statistics now to identify those who are trans or in the process of transitioning would allow a comparison to be made - broken down by health board eventually. Accurate recording and analysis of 'unmet need' at a health board level would identify those people coming forward with symptoms of psychological distress caused by GID (users and carers/families). In ten years time there should be a spike of GID-related 'cases' indicating that accessibility is, finally, improving.