In this brief blog post, we are going to discuss the mental welfare commission and their role in Scotland to improve the mental wellbeing of its citizens through policy, regulation and research.
The role of not for profit organisations such as these is vital as there are many people who have mental health issues which receive little or no funding and can’t rely simply on the state or for-profit organisations to look after them.
What is the mental welfare commission?
The mental welfare commission is a commission from Scotland whose main aim is to ensure the mental health of people in society (primarily Scotland) are looked after and that people with mental health issues can also live a normal and fulfilling life.
The Mental welfare commission state on their website “ Our mission is to be a leading and independent voice in promoting a society where people with mental illness, learning disabilities, dementia and related conditions are treated fairly, have their rights respected, and have appropriate support to live the life of their choice. “
The Mental Welfare Commission primarily looks after the interests of the Scottish people but as with most not-for-profit organisations, the good they do will, of course, go beyond Scotland and affect lives beyond the Scottish borders.
The Mental welfare commission is a non-government body but was established by the Mental Health (Scotland) Act 1960.
The Mental welfare commission is responsible for safeguarding the rights and welfare of people in Scotland with a learning disability, mental illness or other mental disorder.
The commission has to report back to the Scottish Government and give an account of how the funds it was given were spent. This is because it received public funds.
The commission also has to follow NHS financial guidelines and meet NHS financial targets.
The mental health commission was originally set up in 1960 and given specific duties on which it has to report back to the Scottish government.
The Scottish Executive’s introduction to the Act states the below:
“Part 2 of the 2003 Act sets out provisions relating to the continued existence of the Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland. The Commission will have:
new duties to monitor the operation of the Act and to promote best practice;
specific powers and duties in relation to carrying out visits to patients, investigations, interviews and medical examinations, and to inspect records; and
powers and duties to publish information and guidance, and to give advice or bring matters to the attention of others in the mental health law system.
These powers and duties should enable the Commission to maintain and develop its vital role in protecting the rights of service users, and in promoting the effective operation of mental health law. Schedule 1 of the Act sets out more detail on the membership, organisation and general powers of the Commission and makes provision for regulations to specify some matters in more detail, if necessary.”
The Mental welfare commission doesn’t work independently, in fact, it works with other organisations to see its goals and objectives come into fruition.
Some of the organisations the mental welfare commission works with includes:
- Office of the Public Guardian
- Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO)
- Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC)
- Healthcare Improvement Scotland
- the Care Inspectorate
If you are suffering from depression, anxiety, loneliness or any similar mental health issue then seeking help for it may be a good option. Mental health issues such as depression, loneliness and anxiety can affect anyone of us.
If you are under 18 then CAMHS, an NHS run programme may just be the answer for your mental health struggles.
You should look to see if you meet the CAMHS referral criteria and then fill in the CAMHS referral form.