THE SNP has today marked World Mental Health Day by highlighting figures which show a huge increase in funding for psychiatric services since the SNP came to power in 2007.

When the SNP took office, funding stood at £651 million, but that rose to £904 million in 2014-15. This increased funding reflects the long-standing commitment to providing Scotland with the best possible mental health services to ensure that people with mental health issues are able to receive the treatment that they need.

The funding news also coincides with today’s launch of the 10th Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival (SMHAFF), which runs until the October 31, with more than 300 events happening across Scotland.

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SMHAFF’s flagship production this year is One Thinks of It All As A Dream, a new play by Alan Bissett tracing Pink Floyd frontman Syd Barrett’s struggles with mental health and fame, and SMHAFF’s first-ever commission. It will be at Glasgow’s Oran Mor from October 17 to October 22, Traverse Theatre in Edinburgh from October 25 to October 29, and The Lemon Tree in Aberdeen from November 1 to November 5.

The festival kicks off at 7pm tonight at James Gillespie’s High School in Edinburgh with the European premiere of the documentary Dan and Margot. In the film, Margot believes she is being stalked and tormented by someone named Dan, but discovers she has schizophrenia. Faced with this, she struggles to build a life as a young, independent woman, while trying to reclaim the years she lost to the disorder. Dan and Margot will also be screened at the CCA in Glasgow at 4pm next Saturday.

Lee Knifton, head of the Mental Health Foundation, Scotland, said: “We’re delighted to be able to announce such a strong, diverse and vibrant programme for the tenth annual Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival. Over the past decade, we’ve worked with hundreds of artists and organisations across Scotland to challenge stigma, raise awareness and encourage creative responses to mental health.

“By commissioning our first-ever work of theatre, leading our largest-ever International Film Competition and launching some high profile collaborations with some of the biggest arts organisations in the country this year, we’re making a big statement about where we hope the festival will be heading over the next ten years. This also seems like a great time to highlight the vital involvement of activists, grassroots organisations and local community groups in making the festival as successful as it is today.”

On the funding news, SNP MSP Clare Haughey, who is a registered mental health nurse and the deputy convener of Holyrood’s Health and Sport Committee, said: “These figures show the SNP’s commitment to ensuring that people get the treatment that they need. As a registered mental health nurse, I have seen first-hand the effectiveness of SNP policy in this area, giving more people the psychiatric support they require in order to get better.

“Ensuring everyone is able to get effective mental health treatment is an important step in our efforts to create a healthier, happier society – and the increased funding to sit at nearly £1 billion for psychiatric services is a positive development.

“The SNP is strongly committed to tackling mental health problems across Scotland – evidenced by this funding and the creation of a dedicated Mental Health Minister in the Scottish government.

“World Mental Health Day is a fantastic opportunity for people to show solidarity with others facing difficulties and to let people know they are supported – and action by the Scottish Government has ensured that this support is accessible and available whenever people need it.”