The Scottish government has announced £2.5 million in funding to support the mental wellbeing of health and social care workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The funding will be used by health boards in the country to recruit psychologists and other staff dedicated to supporting the mental health of the workforce.
Half a million pounds will be made available this year, followed by a further £1 million in each of the next two financial years.
Mental Health Minister Clare Haughey said: “We are providing Boards with additional funding via NHS Education for Scotland to deliver a workforce development programme to increase capacity and capability to provide psychological therapies and interventions for health and social care staff if and when they need it.
“We have asked our NHS and social care staff to work through unprecedented times and often in unfamiliar settings. Many have been asked to learn new skills and work in new roles in unfamiliar teams.
“They all, too, have had to adjust to the impact the pandemic has had on our personal lives and communities, including having to care for their own families. This has been, and continues to be a huge ask and we are deeply grateful for the hard work, commitment and professionalism of those working in health and social care, at this time of unprecedented challenge.”
News of the funding follows the launch of a National Wellbeing Hub and a 24/7 helpline for people in Scotland who need psychological support.
Trained practitioners at NHS 24 are offering callers a listening service based on the principles of psychological first aid, as well as advice, signposting and onward referral to local services if required.