Angela launches mental health campaign

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A Kildrum woman has begun a campaign for improved mental health services.

Mother of two Angela Hamilton (35) had to fight for 11 months to be diagnosed with premenstrual dysphoric disorder, which causes severe depression symptoms linked to a woman’s menstrual cycle.

Angela is now campaigning for more training to help GPs handle mental health conditions, and for patients to get improved access to specialist services.

Carrying out research on these issues, Angela found that only two out of 12 health boards in Scotland met the targets for quickly providing psychological therapies.

Angela said: “I have been researching these problems and the next step is to petition the Scottish Parliament. With the parliamentary term coming to a close I have been advised May would be the best time to get the petition online and in the meantime I am hoping to find other people who are willing to share their experiences and want to help fight for this. If enough people give their backing the petition will be discussed in Parliament.”

Angela maintains a blog at http://angelahamilton2014.blogspot.co.uk/ which has almost 70,000 views so far.

She has also met with Cumbernauld and Kilsyth MSP Jamie Hepburn, who is also Scotland’s minister for mental health. He has agreed to help Angela get heard in Parliament.

Mr Hepburn said: “As a constituency representative I am always willing to offer assistance to anyone from across Cumbernauld and Kilsyth with any particular matter they want to raise with me.

“In this particular instance the matter also pertains to the responsibilities I have in my role as a Minister in the Scottish Government. In that regard, I would reflect that whilst we have made much progress on the mental health agenda, with inroads into the stigmatisation that exists, with more people accessing child and adolescent mental health services and psychological therapies than was previously the case, there is still more for us to do.

“I am proud that the Scottish Government is investing an additional £150 million beyond our existing commitments to the area of mental health over the next five years.

“That expenditure is geared around continued improvements, and if there is any petition lodged before the Scottish Parliament calling on the Scottish Government to consider any particular proposition, I know that full consideration will be given to such suggestions.”