A mental health campaigner from Cumbernauld has been invited to address the Scottish Parliament later this month.
Earlier this year Angela Hamilton from Kildrum launched a petition for GPs to be given additional training so they are better equipped to identify mental health problems and also for patients to have improved access to specialist services in this area.
The text of the petition reads: “ 1. Reducing the mental health waiting time target from 18 weeks to 14 weeks for adult therapies, and to 12 weeks for child and adolescent mental health services, and committing to ensuring 90% of patients begin treatment within these times;
“2. Providing funding to ensure primary care staff receive additional training on supporting patients with mental health conditions; and
“3. Providing funding for third sector organisations that deliver community based services, such as support groups, which can be accessed by patients whilst waiting for referral appointments.”
Mum-of-two Angela started researching the help available to mental health patients after it took almost a year for her to be diagnosed with premenstrual dysphoric disorder, a condition linked to her menstrual cycle which causes severe depression.
Carrying out research on these issues, Angela found that only two out of 12 health boards were meeting the targets for quickly providing psychological therapies and launched her campaign calling for action to ensure better support for people with mental health problems.
In addition to maintaining an online blog at angelahamilton2014.blogspot.co.uk (this now has more than 80,000 views).
The Scottish Government has acknowledged Angela’s petition and she has now been invited to meet with parliamentarians to discuss it.
She will address the Public Petitions Committee on October 27.
Angela’s campaign also has the backing of Cumbernauld and Kilsyth MSP and former Minister for Mental Health Jamie Hepburn.